• The Girl Wakes •

Short Stories & Fairytales by Carmen Lau

The Girl Wakes: Stories


“A beautifully vicious first collection of retrofitted fairy tales, with whip-smart swerves, darkly funny moments, and razor-sharp language.”
—Brian Evenson,
author of Windeye and ALA-RUSA Award-winner Last Days



Dark, strange, lyrical, and full of frustrated desire and whimsy, Carmen Lau’s debut collection of stories and novellas paints a vivid picture of femininity in the clutches of fantasy, reflecting the brutality of growing up a girl and challenging readers to rethink fairytales as they’ve always known them. Within, you’ll find a tender heart, a painful core, and a paradoxically disastrous and beautiful coming-of-age of every and any girl, told through fairytales that mirror real life and are at once contemporary and timeless. Joining the ranks of Angela Carter, Kate Bernheimer, and Allyse Near, Lau weaves tales of a girl who is too fantastical to be real and too real to be fantasy.

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Praise for The Girl Wakes


“You think you know these stories of wolves and witches, wicked parents and wicked children, devils and vampire boyfriends. No, you do not. Here is storytelling that is deft and dangerous. Tales that seem to hold back over a great roiling. Then they don’t. They get you.”
—Lucy Corin,
author of One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses and The Entire Predicament



“A beautifully vicious first collection of retrofitted fairy tales, with whip-smart swerves, darkly funny moments, and razor-sharp language. Like Angela Carter meets Let the Right One In with a dash of Lady Vengeance tossed in for good measure.”
—Brian Evenson,
author of Windeye and ALA-RUSA Award-winner Last Days



“The ‘girl’ in Carmen Lau’s fictions is a kind of shifter, moving in and out of cracked fairytales, would-be knock-knock jokes, and scenes that run on the weird but persistent logic of certain dreams. Lau’s debut is rich, surprising, assured. Let’s take a moment to recognize the emergence of a remarkable new writer.”
—Scott Garson,
author of Is That You, John Wayne?



“A warning as you set out on the enchanted path Carmen Lau has created: These sharp, surprising stories beckon like the wolf’s unhinged jaw; they will delight you, devour you, transform you.”
—Elise Winn,
Iowa Review Fiction Award and Fairy Tale Review Prose Award Winner



“Haunting and beautiful, Carmen Lau’s collection reads like a fever-dream of all your familiar childhood tales. These stories are at once contemporary and timeless, intertwining modernity and the world of the ever-after with deliriously powerful prose. Readers may need a trail of breadcrumbs or a ball of twine to find their way back to reality—The Girl Wakes is mesmerizing.”
—Eric Shonkwiler,
author of Above All Men and Moon Up, Past Full



“In reading Carmen Lau’s The Girl Wakes, we wake, too, as though in the middle of the night, in the middle of a dream. Is the dream really over? What was that noise? What might once have seemed familiar becomes, in Lau’s hands, wonderfully disturbing, equal parts Bruno Schulz and Angela Carter.”
—Gabriel Blackwell,
author of Madeleine E. and The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men

About The Girl Wakes

• Fiction: Novellas, Short Stories
• Published by Alternating Current Press
• 5” x 8” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Cream Paper, 154 Pages
• Also Available in PDF, ePUB, and Mobi Digital Formats
• Print ISBN-13: 978-0692656259
• Print ISBN-10: 0692656251
• Digital ASIN: B01COD45RO
• Digital eISBN: 1230000982214
• First Edition: March 8, 2016
• Cover Artwork and Interior Illustrations by Christina Collins
Permalink | Short URL: tinyurl.com/girlwakes
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Press Release (Scroll inside box if blank.)



The Girl Wakes: Stories

Images for public use for The Girl Wakes


Click to view/download high-resolution front cover in: [PNG], [JPG], [PDF].



Click to view/download high-resolution full jacket in: [PNG], [PDF].



Click here to view/download hi-resolution photo of author Carmen Lau.



Click here to view/download hi-resolution photo of author Carmen Lau.



Click here to view/download hi-resolution photo of illustrator Christina Collins by Rachael Conley.



Click here to view/download hi-resolution photo of illustrator Christina Collins by Rachael Conley.



Click here to view/download hi-resolution interior illustration by Christina Collins.



Click here to view/download hi-resolution interior illustration by Christina Collins.

Sneak Peek at The Girl Wakes (Scroll inside box if blank.)

Reviews & mentions for The Girl Wakes



Winner of the Electric Book Award

The Girl Wakes was the 2015 recipient of Alternating Current Press’ annual Electric Book Award, which honors the best unpublished manuscript of the year. The award and judges’ notes were announced on The Coil.

About author Carmen Lau


CARMEN LAU has had stories published in Catapult, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other journals. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from UC-Davis. Her story, “Nothing Has Changed about Me,” was chosen as one of Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions, and her story, “Ghost,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The Girl Wakes is the winner of the Electric Book Award and is the author’s first book. Find her at carmenslittlefictions.wordpress.com and at @artemisathene on Twitter.




About illustrator Christina Collins


CHRISTINA COLLINS is a writer, visual artist, and musician, living in Minneapolis. She holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and is a founding editor of Lockjaw Magazine and the author of Marrowlicker, forthcoming from Alternating Current Press. Find her at yourfriendchristina.com and at @xtinarc on Twitter.










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