Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Kris' Fabulist Finds!

"Fabulist fiction exists in the no-mans-land between 'genre' and 'literary' fiction, drawing heavily from each. It has this in common with a number of other subgenres--surrealism, magical realism, weird fiction." --From Publisher's Weekly

It is always a treat to find once you finish a book, it stays in the back of your mind like a little itch. Not something super proud to leave you questioning life and existence, and not something so light you can put it away to focus on the next story--something out of the corner of your eye that's there, but also not there. For me, fabulist fiction is that itch. Fiction skewered a little to the left, but still refreshing and gripping all the same. I hope one of the reads grabs your eye enough that you might pick it up one day!

The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter

I read this book for my senior seminar in college about women monsters and even though I had to read it about five separate times and take it apart for quotes and parse it for deeper meanings, it is still one of my all time favorite books. To put is simple terms, it is a dark, feminist twist on fairy tales meant to empower women and girls in different, dark and twisting ways. Each story captures a different essence of females, from old to young, and how the classic fairy tales of old have used these traits to capture and control women and girls, but Carter uses them to free her characters and readers. 

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

This is another story collection filled with empowering women by turning the narrative normal on its head. In this explosive debut from Machado, the stories range from psychological realism, sci-fi, horror, comedy, fantasy--and of course, fabulism. This is a powerful read, and is a customer favorite in the store!

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: StoriesSwamplandia!, and Vampires in the Orange Grove: And Other Stores by Karen Russell

Karen Russell takes a deep dive into the weird through the Florida Everglades in St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: Stories and Swamplandia! and follows it across the globe in Vampires in the Lemon Grove. I loved her take on the Southern Gothic and how each of her stories is filled with detail, story, and plot, so thick and clawing it almost becomes too much to get through, but the reward of finding the end of each story is far greater.

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory

This collection of stories was the first book I sought out after discovering the term "fabulist." It just seemed to slip through until it was made the picture beside the definition of fabulist. I enjoyed reading this one so much, and tabbed it with so many sticky notes that a re-read is almost impossible. Almost. 

Museum of the Weird by Amelia Gray

Bizarre scenarios play out in Gray's incredible collection of stories filled with surreal humor and bewitching prose. This is a really fun, quick read into the fabulist world!

Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson 

Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House) is a classic voice in horror, but her stories collected into Dark Tales also fill the fabulist fiction mold. She takes the normal, the safe, and tilts it just enough to the left to make it abnormal, unsafe, and into horrifying stories that will leave you checking the shadows and locks. 

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

This is a modern retelling of Beowulf--already a fascinating read--with two suburban mothers as the central characters: Willa living in the safety of Herot Hall with the other people in the neat, lined suburbia with her son Dylan, and Dana living in cave in the mountains outside of Herot Hall with her son Gren (short for Grendel). These two mother's strange world collide when Gren kidnaps Dylan--and the picket fence paradise of Herot Hall becomes something other


Kris studied for their MA in creative writing in Cardiff, Wales. Their favorite genres are horror, science, manga, and fantasy. Kris cannot DNF a book; they either force their way to the finish or it sits in their TBR pile for all eternity. 

Interested in buying? Check out the list here!