Current Projects

Here are a few of the things I am working on:

Forthcoming from Penguin Press in 2021, THE ROCK EATERS, a short story collection—ranging from fabulist to speculative to strange—exploring the personal and political, populated by aliens, radioactive truck drivers, teenagers afraid of sleeping forever, ghosts, and children who eat rocks to keep themselves from taking flight.

THE FURIOUS BRANCHES, a novel set during the 1965 Guerra de Abril in the Dominican Republic. On the first day of the American invasion, a little girl, Mayluz, gains the power to see all possible futures, including ones in which her mother, a constitutionalist fighting in colonial zone, dies. Masterminding the people who she has seen will be attendant on the night of her mother’s death–the strongest man in the world, a woman who can bring the dead back to life, a Puerto-Rican American soldier who can trade places with his shadow–Mayluz must come to terms with her visions and race to save her mother and change her future.

THE ART OF THE UNREAL IN FICTION, a craft book on the writing and story techniques of unreal genres, as well as how the same techniques can be applied to realist fiction. Contemporary writers and readers have grown up reading both genre and literary fiction, appreciating books like Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stonealongside The Catcher in the Rye. In the midst of endless debate about what it means to write stories that last, the boundaries between literary fiction and genre fiction have been slipping. With examples from across the genre spectrum, this book takes those slipping boundaries between genre and literary fiction all the way down, illuminating the ways that both use the same advanced techniques. All fiction can hold us rapt with wonder using the tension between belief and disbelief, between worldbuilding and worldbreaking. Writers who can produce compelling stories no matter the genre and teachers who want to address these techniques in the classroom will equally find the techniques in this book illuminating.

Other projects include a graphic memoir, a screenplay.

4 thoughts on “Current Projects

  1. Nadine says:

    Dear Brenda,

    I’ve read your story “The History of Happiness” which I enjoyed very much.
    May I ask when your short story collection is coming out? I’m looking forward to it!
    Best
    Nadine

  2. Jeff Teppema says:

    Hi Brenda,

    I too just reread “What We Lost” (The Sun) and find that I can’t get the images and metaphors out of my head. To me, right now, this is an important piece of writing.

    Jeff

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