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MALLORY ORTBERG reads from their story collection THE MERRY SPINSTER with MICHELLE DEAN

The Merry Spinster (Henry Holt & Company)

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from their beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific"; series, The Merry Spinster, takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and their best-selling debut Texts from Jane Eyre. The feature become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization.

Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief. Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

"These stories are childhood nightmare fanfiction… They swing between Terry Pratchett’s satirical jocularity and Angela Carter’s sinister, shrewd storytelling, and the result is gorgeous, unsettling, splenic, cruel, and wickedly smart. I’ve never read anything quite like them, and I bet, Dear Reader, that you haven’t either."--Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

"Dark and dreadful and persistently clever. Ortberg bloodily turns familiar tales inside out."--Rainbow Rowell, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Carry On

"Mallory Ortberg has a voracious appetite for poison apples, and a genius for finding the places in fairyland where all the bodies are buried. The Merry Spinster will ruin your most-loved fables, in the best possible way."--Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky

"The secret to The Merry Spinster, I think, is that she never wanted to be your wicked stepmother-- she was too busy. There are uncanny slivers of delight and recognition mixed here with the wit we all love Ortberg for, but here that wit is wielded with new force. If fairy tales are ways to describe the rules we don't dare put down on paper, in their hands, they become ways to challenge those, or even to write new rules. I don;t know if these stories are for bedtimes, but they are for us."--Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night

Mallory Ortberg is Slate's "Dear Prudence." Ortberg has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic and is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. Ortberg lives in the Bay Area with their laptop and their cat.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s 2016 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New YorkerNationNew York Times MagazineSlateNew York MagazineElleHarper’s, and BuzzFeed. She lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250113429
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - March 13th, 2018

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781627791830
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - November 4th, 2014