Author: Shelley Jackson
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Black Balloon Publishing
Eleven-year-old Jane Grandison, tormented by her stutter, sits in the back seat of a car, letter in hand inviting her to live and study at the Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children. Founded in 1890 by Headmistress Sybil Joines, the school―at first glance―is a sanctuary for children seeking to cure their speech impediments. Inspired by her haunted and tragic childhood, the Headmistress has other ideas.
Pioneering the field of necrophysics, the Headmistress harnesses the “gift” she and her students possess. Through their stutters, together they have the ability to channel ghostly voices communicating from the land of the dead, a realm the Headmistress herself visits at will. Things change for the school and the Headmistress when a student disappears, attracting attention from parents and police alike.
Set in the overlapping worlds of the living and the dead, Shelley Jackson’s Riddance is an illuminated novel told through theoretical writings in necrophysics, the Headmistress’s dispatches from the land of the dead, and Jane’s evolving life as Joines’s new stenographer and central figure in the Vocational School’s mysterious present, as well as its future.
Author Bio :
Shelley Jackson has written and illustrated several books for children, including The Old Woman and the Wave (DK Children, 1998) and Sophia, the Alchemist's Dog (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2002). Her most recent book, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington (FSG, 2007), received several awards and starred reviews. Shelley's books for adults include The Melancholy of Anatomy (Anchor Books, 2002) and Half Life (HarperCollins, 2006). She is well known for her pioneering cross-genre experiments such as her groundbreaking hypertext novel, Patchwork Girl, and her ongoing Skin Project, a novella published exclusively in the form of tattoos on the skin of volunteers, one word at a time. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more, please visit her website: http://ineradicablestain.com
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