Author photo by Bruce Silcox


Kelly Barnhill

Feb. 20
7 p.m.

It might seem like a leap for an author best known for the award-winning young readers’ novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon to take on adult themes like sex, death, and taxidermy, but that’s exactly what Minnesota writer Kelly Barnhill does in her new short story collection, Dreadful Young Ladies. Among the fantastical fables are a small-town priest’s recounting of a widow who fell in love with Sasquatch, a murder mystery in which a divorced mother of two is killed and dismembered during a run, a dystopian revenge tale in which a magic child defies totalitarian rule, and a ghost who exchanges letters with her living husband during the London Blitz. Barnhill’s stories are populated with women who break the rules and defy the laws of physics, while her plots rely on supernatural twists. Throughout, her Midwestern background acts as an additional character that informs the scenery and landscape of these bizarre yet timeless stories.