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Parallel Hells

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399705486

Price: £19.99

ON SALE: 17th February 2022

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fiction: Special Features / Short Stories

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In this deliciously strange debut collection, Leon Craig draws on folklore and gothic horror in refreshingly inventive ways to explore queer identity, love, power and the complicated nature of being human.

Some say that hell is other people and some say hell is loneliness . . .

In the thirteen darkly audacious stories of Parallel Hells we meet a golem, made of clay, learning that its powers far exceed its Creator’s expectations; a ruined mansion which grants the secret wishes of a group of revellers and a notorious murderer who discovers her Viking husband is not what he seems.

Asta is an ancient being who feasts on the shame of contemporary Londoners, who now, beyond anything, wishes only to fit in with a group of friends they will long outlive. An Oxford historian, in bitter competition with the rest of her faculty members, discovers an ancient tome whose sinister contents might solve her problems. Livia orchestrates a Satanic mass to distract herself from a recently remembered trauma and two lovers must resolve their differences in order to defy a lethal curse.

(P) 2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Craig's collection dances with horror - the monster is not always who you expect. A book for anyone who likes to play in the dark
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (November 2021)
Trust me: you want to read this. It's the queer horror book of your dreams.
Kirsty Logan (November 2021)
Both vibrantly contemporary and decadently gothic, the stories in Parallel Hells shimmer with queer power and wicked humour. At times I was reminded of the darkly wondrous work of Ramona Ausubel, Kelly Link, Patrick McGrath or Patrick Suskind -- but Leon Craig has a distinctively Dionysian literary sensibility that is all her own, and I can't wait to read everything she writes!
Sharlene Teo (November 2021)
By turns dark, sharp, witty and tender, I'm a huge fan of Leon Craig's writing, and the way she reveals the complex dance of beauty and brutality in our innermost, most vulnerable selves.
Naomi Ishiguro (November 2021)
A glorious collection of short stories that reads as if Edgar Allan Poe and Shirley Jackson had a little queer baby... It is such a fresh and playful approach to storytelling that you cannot help but be totally enamoured with Craig's abilities.
The Big Issue
The short, twisted tales collected in Leon Craig's Parallel Hells have a laconic elegance that's both chilling and pleasurable... Angela Carter with a LGBTQI+ filter
Suzi Feay, Financial Times
Impressive... Read Parallel Hells for a different take on vampires, demons and monsters you never knew existed... Craig's worlds appear effortless
By turns unsettling, funny and fiercely intelligent, Parallel Hells is a queer carnival of monsters and masks. These stories penetrate the surface of their characters' assumed identities to reveal the glittering realities beneath.
Julia Armfield, author of <i>Our Wives Under the Sea</i>
Leon Craig confidently navigates real places and imaginary spaces most of us shy away from and leaves us deliciously teased, unsettled and hungry for more... what really impresses are the virtuoso changes of tone and tempo, and the way narratives flicker between registers - gothic to comedy, folk horror to social embarrassment - with easy confidence and grace
Daily Mail
The most rewarding aspect of Craig's prose is its duality. Her reader never feels too full of one poison or too far from its antidote...Anyone searching for an adventure into the literary underworld need look no further than this queer and compelling collection.'
Lily Kuenzler
This decadent and distorted collection of queer gothic short stories didn't disappoint.
Brixton Review of Books
Glorious and twisted
'Each of the thirteen stories, never overwritten, always sensuous and atmospheric, packs a brief, intense punch. As in the very best gothic literature, Craig's worlds are primarily not far removed from our own . . . Craig, a deft hand at this most difficult of forms, the short story, writes crisp prose redolent of Angela Carter's, particularly in its visceral, sometimes horrifying physicality. . . Parallel Hells will not disappoint any connoisseur of the gothic in its most fulsome and unapologetic sense.
Literary Review
Arresting and provocative, this strange and dark collection grabbed me by the throat.
Megan Bradbury
A thrilling, dark and sometimes strange collection
Jewish Chronicle
Craig manages to recall the decadence of Carter whilst ensuring their stories never feel like re-treading old ground . . . reworking known figures and tales through the lens of queer identity and desire . . . a staggering array of different atmospheres, settings, and tones.
Horrified Magazine
Craig explores queer identity through a selection of tightly knit gothic tales . . . [A] blend of folklore and legend, repurposed to capture modern anxieties
London Magazine