Alix E. Harrow in conversation with Lee Mandelo

Event date: 

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 7:00pm
2720 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

Register HERE

Masks are required for in-person events.

You may recognize Harrow’s name from her breakout debut Ten Thousand Doors of January and last year’s highly praised Once and Future Witches, which blends the fantastical with the women’s suffrage movement. Now, Harrow mixes modern prose with classic storytelling to deconstruct the canon of Sleeping Beauty stories and create a new, feminist interpretation of the folk tale. Her heroine isn't sleeping, she's dying: her terminal illness ties her narrative to a long line of cursed princesses. Even while delving into the darker themes covered up by Disney's pastel gloss, Alix E. Harrow's delightful voice keeps the story lively and engaging. The result is both fun and substantive, nourishing and satisfying and has already received praise from Katherine Arden, Mike Chen, Kalynn Bayron, and Sarah Pinkser, not to mention huge in house enthusiasm here! It is also the first in a new series of fairy tale retellings - she is working on a Snow White retelling now!


"Sleeping Beauty is the worst fairy tale, pretty much any way you slice it. It’s aimless and amoral and chauvinist as shit. Even among the other nerds who majored in folklore, Sleeping Beauty is nobody’s favorite. The romantic girls like Beauty and the Beast; basic girls like Cinderella; goth girls like Snow White. Only the dying girls like Sleeping Beauty."

It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is an extra-special occasion, because it's the last she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, but the main fact for Zinnia is that no one who has it has lived to twenty-two. Her best friend is intent on making Zin's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, she founds herself cast into another world, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.



Most Anticipated Pick from The Nerd Daily,, and more!

"Alix E. Harrow (she/her) is a master storyteller...a fantastic and playful piece of work with strong feelings about the expectations put on young women."—


"A vivid, subversive and feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, where implacable destiny is no match for courage, sisterhood, stubbornness and a good working knowledge of fairy tales."—Katherine Arden, bestselling author of the Winternight trilogy


"Like Into the Spider-Verse for Disney princesses, A Spindle Splintered is a delightful mash-up featuring Alix E. Harrow’s trademark beautiful prose and whip-smart characters. Both emotionally touching and side-splittingly funny, Harrow weaves a gripping narrative that bridges the gap between fairy tale tropes and the sci-fi multiverse. Like the best fairy tales, it’s as unique as it is memorable."—Mike Chen, author of Here and Now and Then


"In this enchanting and devastatingly poignant novella the constructs of the fairytales we know and love are broken wide open, exposing their raw and often tragic origins. A wonderfully imaginative, and Queer as hell, tale for those who who wish to be the authors of their own stories." —Kalynn Bayron, author of Cinderella is Dead


"What I love about Alix Harrow's work is that her stories are clearly written by someone who loves and knows stories, featuring characters who also love and know stories. This is a self-aware, empowered riff on Sleeping Beauty that manages to be thrilling, funny, smart, and sweet." —Sarah Pinsker, Nebula Award-winning author of A Song for a New Day


A former academic and adjunct, Alix E. Harrow is a Hugo-award winning writer living in Kentucky with her husband and their two semi-feral kids. She is the author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Once and Future Witches, and various short fiction. 

Lee Mandelo (he / they) is a writer, critic, and occasional editor whose fields of interest include speculative and queer fiction, especially when the two coincide. They have been a past nominee for various awards including the Nebula, Lambda, and Hugo; their work can be found in magazines such as Tor.comClarkesworld, and Nightmare. Aside from a brief stint overseas learning to speak Scouse, Lee has spent their life ranging across Kentucky, currently living in Lexington and pursuing a PhD at the University of Kentucky.

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A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables) By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250765352
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Tordotcom - October 5th, 2021

USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story. Featuring Arthur Rackham's original illustrations for The Sleeping Beauty, fractured and reimagined.

Summer Sons By Lee Mandelo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250790286
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Tordotcom - September 28th, 2021

Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.

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Event Summary: 

Alix E. Harrow debuts her new novel - Lee Mandelo presents their first!