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Born into a Navy family, Kit Reed moved so often as a kid that she never settled down in one place. She doesn’t know whether that’s A Good Thing or not, but it colors everything she writes. Her most recent novel,WHERE
, is set in the tidelands of South Carolina: the population of an entire island vanishes. MORMAMA
, scheduled for spring, 2017 , unfolds in sort-of ancestral’ territory, a deteriorating mansion on a once-distinguished street in Jacksonville, Florida. The peripatetic Reed calls herself ‘”transgenred” for some of the same reasons. Publishers Weekly
calls her “one of our brightest cultural commentators.” You’ll find links to reviews of her work in Financial Times, The New York Times Book Review, Locus, The Wall Street Journal
et al. linked on this page, and for the rest? Scroll down. Her most recent novel, WHERE
is now available in paperback. MORMAMA
will be published in May, 2017. Recent books include Son of Destruction
and The Story Until Now
, with an introduction by Gary K. Wolfe. The collection features some Reed classics as well as her personal favorites over several decades, including six new stories, never before collected. Both The Story Until Now
and her 2011 collection What Wolves Know
were Shirley Jackson award nominees in 2011 and 2013. In a starred review, P.W.
praises her novel Enclave as “a gripping dystopian thriller.” Other novels include The Baby Merchant
and Thinner Than Thou
, a winner of the A.L.A. Alex Award. The New York Times Book Review
has this to say about her work: “Most of these stories shine with the incisive edginess of brilliant cartoons… they are less fantastic than visionary.” Other novels include A Guggenheim fellow, she is the first American recipient of an international literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation. Her stories appear in venues including The Yale Review, Asimov’s SF, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Omni, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Literature
and The Kenyon Review
. Her books Weird Women, Wired Women and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse
, both published by the Wesleyan University Press, were finalists for the Tiptree Prize. A longtime member of the board of the Authors League Fund, she serves as Resident Writer at Wesleyan University.
About WHAT WOLVES KNOW
Kit Reed has published 22 novels and over a hundred short stories, has garnered awards, and remains as critically feted as she is commercially underrated. A reason for this is that she one of those authors whose work loiters at the mainstream edge of SF. She calls herself "transgenred" acknowledging the problem that her fiction is too fantastical for most literati and too literary for most fans of the fantastic.
Her new collection, What Wolves Know, available in a limited edition from a small press, is unlikely to raise her profile dramatically. It is, however, confirmation of an extraordinary talent. Here are tales of mothers who are monstrous in their maternalness, families on the brink of implosion, children mutated by parental pressure in every dream home a dystopia.
Of particular note are the title story, about a boy raised by wolves who struggles to adapt to the modern world; The Blight Family Singers", a bizarre satire on the Von Trapps; and the seething "Special," with its splendidly mordant and unforeseeable punchline. --James Lovegrove The Financial Times
"Reed has a prose style that's pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation." --The New York Times Book Review
"Kit Reed calls herself 'transgenred...' Her new collection, What Wolves Know... is confirmation of an extraordinary talent." --The Financial Times
About DOGS OF TRUTH
"When a short story collection starts with a 90-year old Salman Rushdie being attacked by an ancient assassin as he throws out a ceremonial opening ball at Yankee Stadium (now a monstroplex shopping mall owned by the Sultan of Brunei), you know you're dealing with a feverishly creative mind. The author of the well-received short fiction collection 'Weird Women, Wired Women,' Reed has a prose style that's pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation. 'Into the Jungle' follows a housewife as she trades her family for a fresh start in the South American rainforest. 'Escape from Shark Island,' told from the point of view of a 16-year-old who still shares a bed with her three siblings and her parents, examines the extremely dark side of certain aspects of child rearing. 'High Rise High' details high school riot 'worse than Attica,' punctuated by a 'monster prom that puts the arm on Armageddon.' In other stories, residents of a gated community drive around in the night searching for their houses, a demented soap opera fan becomes psychotically attached to one of the show's stars and a senile soldier spends years shouting from his nursing home bed. It's enough to make you want to move to Lake Oswego."
--The New York Times Book Review
"With all due respect to sunshine, flowers, butterflies and the author's mother, it's a blessing that Reed... chose a psychologically dense, dangerous and darkly amusing path."
"Reed's humor is as sharp and cool as the edge of an icicle. These Dogs of Truth have bite."
--St. Petersburg Times
"Readers seeking perfectly crafted stories that feature unusual characters, wild ideas and heavy doses of weirdness will love this collection. Brilliant on all levels, many of these stories are worthy of awards. Highly recommended."
About ENCLAVE Publishers Weekly starred review
Enclave Kit Reed. Tor, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2161-9
In this gripping dystopian satire, ex-marine Sargent Whitmore has a plan to make millions while protecting children from the self-destructing modern world. He turns an old Mediterranean monastery into a combined impenetrable fortress and school, and enrolls 100 filthy-rich children, most of them already well-known for legal troubles, drug problems and paparazzi run-ins. Once there, everyone is cut off from the outside world, fed only canned news stories about wars and natural disasters. When things inevitably go horribly wrong, young hacker “Killer” Stade, physician assistant Cassie, drug and sex-crazed Sylvie and monastery-raised orphan Benny all attempt heroics, but remain deeply flawed. Reed (The Baby Merchant) displays unflinching willingness to explore all the facets of all of the characters, and her refusal to paint anyone as a simple villain makes this far more than a typical disaster novel. (Feb.)
About The Baby Merchant:
"The always incendiary Kit Reed's The Baby Merchant envisions a world of designer babies." --Vanity Fair
"Reed, a fierce thinker, is poking at the soft spot of our national anxiety about every aspect of making babies and raising children."
--Washington Post Book World
"Reed writes a fast-paced thriller with a consummate sense of style." --A.L.A. Booklist
"In Starbird, she fashions a unique antagonist, a damaged man who has compartmentalized himself away from most human emotions and who is surprised when his walls are breached. By the time the novel's climax arrives, Reed has orchestrated the central conflict for maximum impact, and the rightness of its ending distinguishes "The Baby Merchant" as one of the most satisfying thrillers -- science fiction or otherwise -- of the season." --The San Francisco Chronicle
"Reed's books often prickle with satire, and The Baby Merchant is no exception. While her characters are driven by dreams of idealized parent-child relationships, she is slyly showing us the real thing, from the reality-show-ready screaming matches between Sasha's friend Marilyn and her son, to Sasha's and Tom's deeply dysfunctional families. And our current obsessions about Homeland Security get a creepy twist: microchips implanted in the soft spot in every newborn's head.
But The Baby Merchant is first and last a smart, sometimes startling thriller, graced with an interesting bad guy and with Sasha, whose metamorphosis from self-absorbed student to panicky single mom to avenging mother tiger powers the story. --The St. Petersburg Times
"That's why Tom Starbird in Kit Reed's newest novel, The Baby Merchant, is such a compelling character. A sort of modern Robin Hood, Starbird steals babies from those who don't want them and sells them -- for a price of a Lamborghini -- to couples he deems worthy... Readers will find themselves engrossed in a real page-turner that will spur them to question whether attaining a baby is what these characters are really seeking.-- The Chicago Sun-Times
The Night Children
from The Chicago Sun-Times
'Children' delivers adventure, cultural commentary
Batman's Joker has nothing on Amos Zozz.
The monstrous head of Castertown's MegaMall is the evil genius behind, or in his case beneath, the sinister setting in Kit Reed's new book for young readers.
The Night Children (Starscape, 240 pages, $17.95), which follows in the vein of Reed's 2005 Alex Award-winner Thinner Than Thou, is a creepy page-turner delivering biting cultural commentary. This time the obsession plaguing America is shopping, and capitalism in Castertown has run amok.
Reed's fantastical release could not have been timed better considering our dismal economy, but her MegaMall is no ordinary shopping center. The honeycombed behemoth covers 4 square miles, and by night is home to gangs of abandoned and runaway children.
One of these is spirited Jule Devereaux, who stays on the WhirlyFunRide a little too late one night. She becomes a prisoner of the Dingos. Jule is about to be offered as a sacrifice to the all powerful Zozz when the Castertown Crazies save her.
The Crazies, led by steadfast Tick Stiles, brace for war with the Dingos, but the children soon will learn that their squabbles are nothing compared to what Zozz has in store. They band together, but will it be enough?
Zozz knows feral packs infest his empire and plans to exterminate them sadistically. His designs reveal his tortured past, which has left him hideously disfigured and deranged.
Zozz's grandson, Lance the Loner, who turned his back on the family fortune, is in position to help. From his safe haven beneath the MegaMall, Lance has learned quite a bit about what actually goes on there.
He knows about the river beneath the complex and its sinister use. And he knows how to alert the masses to what's going on underneath it all.
Reed has concocted a wonderfully modern cartoon depicting how the rich treat the poor, how the poor go along with it to become rich, and what it takes to break the cycle.
Batman does not come to save the day, but Reed brings her story to a rousing finish that will keep young readers riveted.
For the Sun-Times
Kirkus calls Kit Reed's Thinner Than Thou "Unsettling, sometimes appalling: satire edging remorselessly toward reality."
*Publishers Weekly: "Reed (@expectations) rips into the dangerous pursuit of body perfection at the expense of the soul in this stinging and mordantly witty satire... A cast of delicious characters, caught like insects in day-glo amber, features bewildered twin teens Betz and Danny Abercrombie... With this sharp-eyed look at America's obsession with image, Reed provides much food for thought and reaffirms her position as one of our brightest cultural commentators."
People Magazine says this about Thinner Than Thou: "With an ear for dialogue and a truly wild imagination, Reed (author of Seven for the Apocalypse) populates her scary book with believable characters including Annie Abercrombie, an anorexic teenager taken hostage by the nuns, and Kelly, the obese friend also targeted by the better-bod squad. A clever what-if, Reed's tale is provocative as well as amusing."
* An A.L.A. Booklist Book of the Year
Winner of the A.L.A. Alex award
In a starred review of Thinner Than Thou, the reviewer for Booklist says, "Reed's visionary tale is brilliant, though at times painful to read."
Visiting The Dead in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March, 2003,
Missing Sam in The Yale Review, October, 2002
The Last Big Sin at scifi.com, May, 2002
Captive Kong in Redshift, December, 2001