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Never whistle at night : an Indigenous dark fiction anthology
2023
Where is it?
Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
Fiction
Anthology
Horror
Collection
Topics
Indigenous peoples
Ghosts
Curses
Monsters
Revenge
Family
Intergenerational families
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews
Library Journal Review
Editors Hawk (Anoka: A Collection of Indigenous Horror) and Van Alst (Sacred Smokes), both fiction writers in their own right, offer an anthology of spine-tingling tales of hauntings, curses, and other horrors, written by prominent Indigenous authors (including Tommy Orange, Cherie Dimaline, and Brandon Hobson) and presented in audio by a talented ensemble of nine Indigenous narrators. Stephen Graham Jones's prologue, narrated by Sheldon Elter, sets the stage, providing a window into the craft of Indigenous horror. Some of the stories that follow, such as D.H. Trujillo's "Snakes Are Born in the Dark," detail supernatural terror; others, such as Kelli Jo Ford's "Heart-Shaped Clock," highlight real-life horrors, including intergenerational trauma and abuse. Through the anthology's body horror, hauntings, and supernatural creatures, listeners will also encounter the terrible legacy wrought by colonialism and forced assimilation. The large cast of narrators differentiates the stories, signaling changes in mood, tone, and approach and allowing listeners to hear the varied voices and personalities detailed within. VERDICT A collection of Indigenous horror stories that offers something for every listener, from quietly unsettling tales to gruesome body horror. Don't miss it.--Elyssa Everling
Publishers Weekly Review
Hawk (Anoka) and Van Alst (Sacred City) present a heavy-hitting arrangement of 26 twisted tales from established and emerging Indigenous North American authors. The collection mixes hauntings (as in Mona Susan Power's "Dead Owls") and monsters (in Mathilda Zeller's "Kushtuka") from Native tradition, with the more mundane horrors of privileged white racism taken to extremes (in Amber Blaeser-Wardzala's "Collections"), the devastating effects of abuse (in Kelli Jo Ford's "Heart-Shaped Clock"), and a touch of satisfyingly violent revenge against mistreatment, both supernatural (in D.H. Trujillo's "Snakes Are Born in the Dark") and mundane (in David Heska Wanbli Weiden's "Sundays"). Hawk's own contribution, "Behind Colin's Eyes," evokes a visceral feeling of being trapped. Family stories and intergenerational relationships form a running theme, taking center stage in Morgan Talty's "The Prepper," while the dangerous power of storytelling itself comes to the fore in Richard Van Camp's gripping "Scariest. Story. Ever." Lifting up an exciting array of authors, this anthology will be a treat for horror fans. (Sept.)
Booklist Review
Editors Hawke and Van Alst have gathered a satisfying mix of unsettling horror stories written by an array of notable Native authors, including Cherie Dimaline, Brandon Hobson, Darcie Little Badger, and Tommy Orange. The 25 chilling tales revolve around Indigenous experiences and beliefs, cranking up the creepy factor with terrifying monsters, ghosts, curses, family secrets, and vengeful spirits. In "Hunger," by Phoenix Boudreau, a college student fights a Wehtigo that possesses humans and consumes all, never feeling satiated. In "Dead Owls," by Mona Susan Power, a young Dakota girl visits her aunt in the summer, only to be attacked by the spirit of an angry settler. In Carson Faust's "Eulogy for a Brother, Resurrected," a man mourns the loss of his brother, resorting to the unspeakable to see him once again. All combined, these powerful pages use fantastical elements to create very human characters who suffer very real horrors, like oppression, poverty, abuse, mental illness, and the erasure of long-existing cultures and traditions. This volume is a must for any library collection and will be devoured by speculative fiction fans who enjoy a sprinkle of social commentary within their scary books.
Kirkus Review
Indigenous authors explore the meaning of haunted spaces. In his foreword to this anthology of "dark fiction," Stephen Graham Jones notes the value of examining the blurry regions between reality and unreality, and in locating the indeterminacies of identity that linger there. The great potential of narratives which engage such topics, he says, is that they can offer redemptive alternatives to the stricter conceptual boundaries often found in non-Indigenous traditions. As Jones puts it, "Telling ourselves stories about the world being bigger than we thought, big enough for bigfoot and little people, that's really kind of saying to the so-called settlers that, hey, yeah, so you took all that land you could see. But what about all this other territory you don't even know about, man?" The best of the stories here deliver on this promise of imaginative discovery and liberation. In their explorations of obscure but decisive truths and murky crossings between the human and more-than-human, they provide some often spine-tingling and suggestive storytelling. Among the most memorable are Nick Medina's "Quantum," Kelli Jo Ford's "Heart-Shaped Clock," and Kate Hart's "Uncle Robert Rides the Lightning," each of which chillingly implies the vulnerability of contemporary Native America to unburied history and undead antagonists. The most gripping and poignant of the stories is, perhaps, Mathilda Zeller's "Kushtuka," which cannily explores the tormented in-between spaces of a selfhood afflicted from within and without: "There was something outside the house that was clearly murderous and looked just like me. There was something inside me that was clearly murderous and felt nothing like me." Though the rest of the stories are somewhat uneven in quality, this collection is entertaining and thought-provoking, especially in its highlighting of the lurking terrors--from intergenerational trauma to environmental destruction to toxic allyship--confronting Indigenous peoples today. Unsettling tales from the otherworldly shadows. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
NATIONAL BESTSELLER . BRAM STOKER AWARD NOMINEE FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN AN ANTHOLOGY

A bold, clever, and sublimely sinister collection that dares to ask the question- "Are you ready to be un-settled?"

"Never failed to surprise, delight, and shock." -Nick Cutter, author of The Troop and Little Heaven

Featuring stories by-

Norris Black . Amber Blaeser-Wardzala . Phoenix Boudreau . Cherie Dimaline . Carson Faust . Kelli Jo Ford . Kate Hart . Shane Hawk . Brandon Hobson . Darcie Little Badger . Conley Lyons . Nick Medina . Tiffany Morris . Tommy Orange . Mona Susan Power . Marcie R. Rendon . Waubgeshig Rice . Rebecca Roanhorse . Andrea L. Rogers . Morgan Talty . D.H. Trujillo . Theodore C. Van Alst Jr. . Richard Van Camp . David Heska Wanbli Weiden . Royce K. Young Wolf . Mathilda Zeller

Many Indigenous people believe that one should never whistle at night. This belief takes many forms- for instance, Native Hawaiians believe it summons the Hukai'po, the spirits of ancient warriors, and Native Mexicans say it calls Lechuza, a witch that can transform into an owl. But what all these legends hold in common is the certainty that whistling at night can cause evil spirits to appear-and even follow you home.

These wholly original and shiver-inducing tales introduce readers to ghosts, curses, hauntings, monstrous creatures, complex family legacies, desperate deeds, and chilling acts of revenge. Introduced and contextualized by bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones, these stories are a celebration of Indigenous peoples' survival and imagination, and a glorious reveling in all the things an ill-advised whistle might summon.
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