"This clever, cacophonous novel of metaphysical gothic from Jackson teems with voices of the living and the dead." —Publisher's Weekly
Shelley Jackson presents an Illuminated Lecture on Necrophysics, with Instructive Slides and an opportunity to Channel the Dead on the occasion of the release of her latest book, Riddance: The Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children, her first new novel in twelve years.
With an introduction from Mensah Demary.
When eleven-year old Jane Grandison receives an invitation to join the Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children, she thinks she has finally found a safe place where she can learn to control her stutter. However, rather than rid the children of their speech impediments, Headmistress Sybil Jones, a dedicated pioneer of the field of necrophysics, considers their stutters “gifts” that can be used as a channel to access the other side of reality: the land of the dead.
Set in the overlapping worlds of the living and the dead, Jackson’s Riddance is an illuminated novel told through theoretical writings in necrophysics, the Headmistress’s dispatches from the land of the dead, and Jane’s evolving life as Joines’s new stenographer and central figure in the Vocational School’s mysterious present, as well as its future.
Shelley Jackson was born in the Philippines, raised in Berkeley, California, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, her daughter, and a three-legged dog. She received a B.A. in art from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Brown University. She is the author of the short story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy, the novel Half Life, the hypertext novel Patchwork Girl, several children’s books, and “Skin,” a story published in tattoos on the skin of more than 2,000 volunteers. She teaches in the graduate writing program at The New School.
Mensah Demary is an editor for Catapult, and writes in Brooklyn.