FIRST SEVEN LINES:
“Come nights, the girl crawls into bed to wait for her father to tell her a tale before sleep. He is down the hall working and she can just make out the sound of rapid typing from beyond his open office door. Because her room is one of the Institute’s closets, converted into a child’s private space, it is less a playground and more a chamber; the bookshelf also serves as a headboard and the door fails to open fully before hitting the foot of her bed. At 1 a.m., the Scholar enters his daughter’s room, where he finds her manipulating her hands to make shadows on the wall. Good morning, young one, he says. And happy birthday. The daughter drops her hands and folds them neatly over the cuff of her blankets. Hello, she says.” Shelf Unbound: Would you start by describing the style and subject of your novel? Lindsey Drager: I see you have begun with the most difficult question!
The book is a kind of gender-bending gothic cautionary tale. At its core, it is a story about how our parents fail us. I was very interested in exploring storytelling and authorship, how the