The Job of the Wasp - A Novel
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
A playful, atmospheric read, this quick and gory ghost story smartly and beautifully explores the nightmare of adolescence, the struggle of fluctuating identities, and the slippery nature of social ties. Winnette plays cleverly with ghost story archetypes (a remote orphanage, a terrible storm, a mysterious headmaster, the sound of sourceless laughter outside a window at night, the normal transforming into the paranormal); as a result, the novel feels at once familiar and brilliantly unlike a stereotypical horror story. Deliberate, matter-of-fact, and genre-savvy, The Job of the Wasp has a slapdash minimalism that makes it funny, smart and compelling. In other words, it's a quintessential Soft Skull book As tension builds, the momentum of the writing does in turn; the narrator's increasing paranoia and spiraling troubles are frenetically rendered as the can't-look-away horror within the narrative hurtles toward disaster. Winnette was a finalist for Gulf Coast Magazine's Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose and has extensive connections in the Bay Area and Dallas. As much a love letter to its various genres as a deconstruction of them, The Job of the Wasp is sure to appeal both to adults for its sharp wit and to a YA audience for its more traditional elements.
Booksellers are already loving it: we have early blurbs from Caitlin Luce Baker and Patrick deWitte