Flyaway (Paperback)

Flyaway By Kathleen Jennings Cover Image

Flyaway (Paperback)


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August 2020 Indie Next List

“I’ve never read anything quite like this book. The prose is confident—it’s like an iron backbone on which strange and beautiful flowers grow. Jennings’ use of syntax is utterly unique. Words that should bump and snap at each other instead morph and burst into unforgettable sentences. This is a... fairy tale? An allegory? A murder mystery? I’m not entirely sure. It doesn’t matter. Trying to categorize this wonderful novel would be like putting a unicorn into a horse box. It wouldn’t fit and the horn would shatter the wood. Best to leave it unbound and wild, admire it for what it is, and wonder at what it’s not.”
— Aimee Keeble, Main Street Books (NC), Davidson, NC

A 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist!

A 2020 Crawford Award Finalist

An Indie Next Pick!

Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR

Transformation, enchantment, and the emotional truths of family history teem in Kathleen Jennings’ stunning debut, Flyaway.

"Kathleen Jennings' prose dazzles, and her magic feels real enough that you might even prick your finger on it."—Kelly Link

“An unforgettable tale, as beautiful as it is thorny.” —The New York Times Book Review

In a small Western Queensland town, a reserved young woman receives a note from one of her vanished brothers—a note that makes her question memories of their disappearance and her father’s departure.

A beguiling story that proves that gothic delights and uncanny family horror can live—and even thrive—under a burning sun, Flyaway introduces readers to Bettina Scott, whose search for the truth throws her into tales of eerie dogs, vanished schools, cursed monsters, and enchanted bottles. Flyaway enchants you with the sly, beautiful darkness of Karen Russell and a world utterly its own.

Kathleen Jennings is a writer and illustrator based in Brisbane, Australia. Her Australian Gothic debut, Flyaway, was published by Tordotcom (Pan Macmillan, USA) and Picador (Australia) in 2020, and has been published in French (by les Moutons électriques) in 2023. Her short fiction has been published in, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many other markets. Her debut poetry collection Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion was published by Brain Jar Press in 2020. Her writing has won the British Fantasy and Ditmar Awards, and been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and The Courier Mail People’s Choice Book of the Year Award (Queensland Literary Awards). She is also a World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated illustrator. Her short story collection Kindling is to be published by Small Beer Press in January 2024, and she is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Queensland.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250875327
ISBN-10: 1250875323
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: April 25th, 2023
Pages: 176
Language: English

A 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist!

A 2020 Crawford Award Finalist

An Indie Next Pick!

Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR

“An unforgettable tale, as beautiful as it is thorny.” —The New York Times Book Review

"Half mystery, half fairy tale, all exquisitely rendered and full of teeth."—Holly Black

"A fairytale wrapped about in riddles and other thorny bits of enchantments and stories, but none of them quite like any you’ve heard before. Kathleen Jennings' prose dazzles, and her magic feels real enough that you might even prick your finger on it."—Kelly Link

"Shirley Jackson Down Under: a brooding, bruising fairy tale about blood and history and sharp-toothed things waiting in the woods. I loved it."—Alix E. Harrow, author of Starling House

"A superbly told tale of folklore-infused fantasy, full of rising dread, set in a sharply observed Australian outback town."—Garth Nix

"[Flyaway] will leave you feeling deeply satisfied." —Washington Independent Review of Books

"Katheleen Jennings' writing is highly poetic and her imagery superb... [and contains] revelations that even the most seasoned genre reader won't see coming. More like this, please." —Rue Morgue

"Flyaway is a novel that knows any story is only as truthful as the person who tells it; that the tale itself survives as a parasite does, jumping from person to person and host to host."—Australian Book Review

"In spellbinding, lyrical prose Jennings lulls readers into this rich, dreamlike world. Lovers of contemporary fairy tales will find this a masterful work."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Achingly gorgeous. . . . As tangled and densely interwoven as a tuft of dusty fur snagged on a barbed wire fence, Jennings' debut novella is both deeply indebted to the Australian gothic tradition and vibrantly, bewitchingly itself. A dark, delicious shrike's feast of a fairy tale."—Brooke Bolander

"Brilliant light washes through these pages, a perfect foil for the novella’s shadowy, all-too-serious battles of class, community and family. Sly visitations from imported, half-naturalised folklore add further layers of mystery and wonder to a more-than-magical tale of history’s grip, the land’s memory, and the harm we cannot help but do to ourselves and each other."—Margo Lanagan

"I love the imagery, the atmosphere, the incredible tactile quality of the world as described, the structure. . . . Some of the best prose I've ever read."—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

"A darkly enchanting and unexpected tale. A gothic Alice in Wonderland meets Picnic at Hanging Rock. With Flyaway Jennings takes old threads and weaves them into something new and exciting."—Angela Slatter

"I feel as if a very new voice has whispered a very old secret in my ear, and I’ll never be able to un-hear it. Nor will I ever want to."—C. S. E. Cooney

“I finished [Kathleen Jenning’s] Flyaway last night and haven't been able to start anything new yet because I don't want to leave that lush creepiness behind.”—Sarah Pinsker

"An exquisite gem of a book, a story which hoards its secrets and reveals its answers slowly, patiently, rewarding the reader who’s willing to go on a strange and haunting journey. . . . Subtly sinister and utterly, utterly magical."—Grimdark Magazine

"Jennings’s debut novella is pure, poetic Australian gothic, filled with haunting emotions, fairy-tale action, and sharp prose."—Library Journal

"A deliciously mysterious Gothic fairy tale wrapped in elegantly descriptive prose."—Booklist

"Part ghost story, part murder mystery and part fairy tale, Flyaway feels like a perfect combination of all Jennings’ experiences and imagination."—Book Page

"An entrancing and unforgettable debut."—The Southern Bookseller Review