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The Wishing Pool and Other Stories (Hardcover)

The Wishing Pool and Other Stories By Tananarive Due Cover Image


In her first new book in seven years, Tananarive Due further cements her status as a leading innovator in Black horror and Afrofuturism; featuring the 2023 World Fantasy Award–winning story, “Incident at Bear Creek Lodge”!

“In these 14 powerhouse stories, Due probes history, the grim present moment, and not so far-flung futures, delivering an expansive collection that still hits close to home . . . There are no false notes; every piece is a study in tension, showcasing Due’s mastery at balancing action, suspense, and emotion. Centering Black characters and often Black experiences, this is a standout in both Black horror and the genre more broadly.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

American Book Award–winning author Tananarive Due's second collection of stories includes offerings of horror, science fiction, and suspense—all genres she wields masterfully. From the mysterious, magical town of Gracetown to the aftermath of a pandemic to the reaches of the far future, Due's stories all share a sense of dread and fear balanced with heart and hope.

In some of these stories, the monster is racism itself; others address the monster within, each set against the supernatural or surreal. All are written with Due's trademark attention to detail and deeply drawn characters.

In addition to previously published work, this collection contains brand-new stories, including "Rumpus Room," a supernatural horror novelette set in Florida about a woman's struggle against both outer and inner demons.

About the Author

TANANARIVE DUE is an award-winning author who teaches Black horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. Her stories have been featured on LeVar Burton Reads and Realm, and she is an executive producer on Shudder's documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. Due and her husband/collaborator, Steven Barnes, wrote for Jordan Peele's The Twilight Zone and for Shudder's anthology film Horror Noire. They also cowrote the Black Horror graphic novel The Keeper, illustrated by Marco Finnegan. Due and Barnes cohost a podcast, Lifewriting: Write for Your Life!

Praise For…

The Wishing Pool is a master class in horror fiction and sci-fi written by one of the very best in the genre.

— Joe Hill's book recommendations - NPR's Weekend Edition

Holy hell: These fourteen stories from author and film historian Due might scare even the most dauntless horror fans to death. These tales of fright are both intellectually keen and psychologically bloodcurdling, no surprise from an award-winning writer whose command of the Black horror aesthetic rivals Jordan Peele’s in originality and sheer bravado . . . The hairbreadth between acute tragedy and the blackest of humor are child’s play for the author in ‘Haint in the Window,’ which masterfully nods to Octavia E. Butler in the story of a bookseller facing elements out of his control. The five tales in The Gracetown Stories give a sense of Stephen King’s fictional Derry or Jerusalem’s Lot . . . A patchwork of stories that somehow manages to be both graceful and alarming, putting fresh eyes to the unspeakable.
— Kirkus Reviews

Award-winning author Tananarive Due’s new four-part collection of scary short stories examine horror, suspense and science fiction through the lens of racism, Afrofuturism and the supernatural, with plenty of enticing details to keep you hooked on every page.
— Ebony

Tananarive Due is the master of Black horror, even teaching a class where Jordan Peele guest-lectured. So her new collection, The Wishing Pool, out in mid-April, is a major treat, full of major scares. Due excels at twist endings but also brilliantly creates an atmosphere of creeping dread in which you know something terrible is coming. The Wishing Pool is helpfully divided into four sections, and each feels like a movement in a symphony. There are classic tales of horror, then a series of stories set in a Florida town where the swamp tends to swallow people up; the final two sections shift to science fiction about post-apocalyptic futures. (These last sections include pandemic stories, written before 2020, which hit harder now.) Due shows just how much territory she can cover in one short book and just how versatile terrifying tales can be.

— Washington Post

The Wishing Pool and Other Stories marks Tananarive Due’s first solo work since her 2015 short story collection Ghost Summer and it’s a firecracker of a collection . . . like its predecessor, it covers a wide range of genres and subgenres—dystopian, Afrofuturism, horror, Southern gothic, fantasy/ supernatural—and highlights the best of what Due can do . . . As expected from the great Tananarive Due, The Wishing Pool is a strong set of short stories. It would make a great introduction to her body of work for new fans especially. Due is the queen of horror noire, and she is in fine form in this collection.

— Locus Magazine

For fans of Jordan Peele, horror book fanatics, and people who love short but powerful tales, this book is for you.
— Men's Health

Threads of connection weave throughout Due’s new collection, which will leave readers wanting more . . . Though the stories include a wide range of supernatural and more Earth-bound horrors, racism and anti-Blackness shadow all of the characters and drive much of the volume’s terror.
— Booklist

One of the great torchbearers of Afrofuturism and Black horror . . . For Due, horror is situational and philosophical, a bubbling cauldron of terrible irony, systemic breakdowns, and worldwide devastation . . . The title tract in Wishing Pool, meanwhile, is a pitch-perfect, careful-what-you-wish-for tale that leaves readers pondering memory, identity and the meaning of happiness.
— Philadelphia Inquirer

I make no secret of the fact that I am both a lover of short fiction as well as a huge Tananarive Due fan. Her writing never fails to remind me that some of the most deliciously twisted imaginations in literature are possessed by some of the sweetest humans on the planet.
— LeVar Burton
Product Details
ISBN: 9781636141053
ISBN-10: 1636141056
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Pages: 296
Language: English