White Cat, Black Dog

Now available in paperback.

Seven ingeniously reinvented fairy tales that play out with astonishing consequences in the modern world, from one of today’s finest short story writers—MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble.

Illustrated by Shaun Tan.

Chautauqua Prize Finalist · Kirkus Prize Finalist · Washington Post Top 10 Best SF&F Books · New York Times Best SF&F · Electric Lit Best Collections. Best of 2023: The New Yorker · NYPL Best Books · Today Show · Slate · Kirkus Reviews · Toronto Globe and Mail · Tor.com · Shondaland · LitHub

Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers—characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.

In “The White Cat’s Divorce,” an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which will become his heir. In “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear,” a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In “Skinder’s Veil,” a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers—or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.

Twisting and winding in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable—these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the art of short fiction.

A little more

Interview with Alison Stewart on WNYC.

Random House Look Inside widget.

The Fabulist in the Woods
Lila Shapiro

UK edition: Head of Zeus, March 30, 2023


A Shape-Shifting Short-Story Collection Defies Categorization
Kelly Link’s postmodern fairy tales make the case for enchantment.
By Kristen Roupenian

“Kelly Link is something of a short story sorceress.”—The Washington Post

“The Brothers Grimm meet Black Mirror meets Alice in Wonderland . . . In seven remixed fairy tales, Link delivers wit and dreamlike intrigue.”—Time

“As intense, absorbing and weird as the best dreams.”—The Guardian

“[Link’s] latest collection so seamlessly entwines the real with the surreal that the stories threaten to slip into reality, resonating long after reading.”—Buzzfeed

“Kelly Link is the master of the modern fairy tale.”—Today

“Fans of Station Eleven, speculative fiction or simply anyone who needs a brief escape from the hard, cold world will find the prose here magically transporting.”—Salon

“Link is a genius. . . . [This book is] pure modern folklore—eccentric, taut and tapped into the collective subconscious.”—Los Angeles Times

“The maestro fantasist of short fiction brings us more mystical stories—of animals, human and not, and the unattainable desires that make up all our lives.”—Bustle

“Kelly Link’s stories are spooky and funny, grounded, and floating, and, as always, completely her own. There is no mistaking a story by Kelly Link. This book is sublime.”—Emma Straub, author of This Time Tomorrow

“These are big stories, tales you dive into, live inside, and come out the other end changed.”—Victor LaValle, author of Lone Women

“Kelly Link’s stories are generous with their intellect, wit, humanity, and the hope and dread of what was, of what might be, of what is.”—Paul Tremblay, author of The Pallbearers Club

“What a glorious and bewitching gift this book is.”—Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson

“Kelly Link’s stories wriggle under your skin and take up a permanent home there, and somehow you’re grateful to be infested.”—Kiersten White, author of Hide

“Reading Kelly Link is stepping onto a slide that spirals you down into the heart of the kaleidoscope and makes you either smile wide enough that you cry, or the other way around.”—Stephen Graham Jones, author of Don’t Fear the Reaper

“Enchanting, mesmerizing, brilliant.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[Link’s] reworkings take the clockwork of familiar stories and give them bloody, beating hearts.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)