While she’s best known as the genius of surreal painting, Carrington’s fiction is lively, wild and full of mythic and magical resonances. She wrote The Hearing Trumpet when still quite young though her heroine Marian Leatherby is a 92-year-old woman with bad hearing and a small beard. In a bizarre retirement home Marian discovers a centuries-long plot to free the Holy Grail and return it to the goddess — just as the apocalypse is about to be unleashed.

From bees to werewolves each turn in the narrative is impossible to predict, but Carrington writes with mordant wit, effortlessly weaving together magic, myth, and lore from the Irish tales of her childhood, Robert Graves’ The White Goddess, her adopted Mexican home, and so much more. This too-often overlooked classic offers insight on ecological disaster, spiritual pursuits (as well as spiritual charlatans) and the timeless appeal of a really good stew. In contrast to many power fantasies of a post-apocalyptic world, Carrington suggests that the real strength comes from community — one that includes all creatures.


K. A. Laity is an award-winning author, scholar, filmmaker, critic, editor, and arcane artist. Her film A Fire Ritual for the Heart was featured in the Silent Fire exhibition co-curated by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Nasty Women Connecticut. Her fiction includes Chastity Flame, The Mangrove Legacy, Lush Situation, Love is a Grift, Satan’s Sorority, How to Be Dull, White Rabbit, Dream Book, A Cut-Throat Business, Owl Stretching, and Pelzmantel. She has edited My Wandering Uterus, Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir, plus written many short stories, scholarly essays, songs, and more. Laity has served as History Witch for Witches & Pagans. Her 2011-2 Fulbright Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway, focused on Digital Humanities. Her work has been translated into Italian, Polish, Slovene, German, and Portuguese. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Her podcast Is It Funny? can be found here. Her radio programme Surreal Noir can be found here.

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