This collection of haunting, magical poems draws on myth and fable to explore the roles women play in many archetypal stories—and gives voice to these female characters, to let them tell their tales in their own words.
"Wasn’t it pervert Edgar Allen Poe who said, 'The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world?' Francesca Lia Block’s book Dead Girls begs to differ. Here we see the exploitation of girls—spun into the very DNA of our Western culture of myth and fairy tales—for what it is. Block gives voice to these women and girls, including the 'wicked' queens and stepmothers, revealing a complexity and despair as only a truly great poet can. I’ll tell you what is the most poetical topic in the world—beautiful girls who are very much alive in these exquisite poems."—Denise Duhamel
"In the gorgeous realms of these poems we might hear beguiling instructions: 'Heed my advice / Take your heart from your chest / Let it bleed in your hands / Talk to it softly / as if to a lover,' and then wander into their alluring spaces of darkness. Bristling with violence and eroticism, the wilderness here resonates with current and crucial concerns. Listen close and follow Francesca Lia Block’s seductive voice as it speaks through these fabular figures: 'I want to tell my history / Can you hear my stories?'"—Molly Bendall