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GennaRose Nethercott Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Collections

The Lumberjack's Dove (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

GennaRose Nethercott
GennaRose Nethercott is a writer and folklorist. “The Lumberjack’s Dove” was chosen by Louise Gluck as a winner of the National Poetry Series.

Whether writing ballads, novels, poems, or even fold-up paper cootie catchers, all of her projects are rooted in myth, and what our stories reveal about who we are.

Genna is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow, her work has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, PANK, The American Scholar, BOMB Magazine, and elsewhere. She’s been a writer-in-residence at Art Farm Nebraska, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris.

Genna tours internationally and nationally performing odd stories (often with puppets in tow) and writing poems-to-order on this antique typewriter (a 1952 Hermes Rocket) with The Traveling Poetry Emporium, her team. She also conducts historical and supernatural research for the podcast Lore. Genna lives in the woodlands of Vermont, beside this old cemetery.

Growing up, she was a professional child clown. Her little brother, dad, and Genna would co-write a clown show every summer and tour New England performing it at libraries. Genna devised her clown name when she was just four years old: Chicken Bump. Now she thinks it sounds like some horrible disease. Better quarantine GennaRose, she’s got the Chicken Bumps.

She has also been a grant writer, a substitute librarian, a barista at six cafes, a bead merchant, a bookseller, a theater intern, and a busking poet-for-hire, writing poems to order on the street for strangers.

It is impossible for Genna to write while listening to music, because she gets over stimulated and cannot focus, so she tends to work in silence. With that said, there are musicians whose work invigorates and inspires her, like the legendary Paul Simon and Anais Mitchell, who is an exquisite storyteller and who Genna’s in constant awe of. Her friends Lula Wiles. Her comfort food band is The Decemberists, whose music has been a constant companion to Genna since she was a young teen, when this boy she had a crush on made her a mix CD featuring some of their songs.

Writing is one of the few acts for Genna that is not magic. It is focused and deliberate work. The magic arrives the moment that she has finished a piece, looking back at it and marveling that she has managed to manifest something into the universe that was not there before. As for her process, she writes in bed. She has never understood why anybody would sit in a hard chair when they have the chance to sit in a soft bed.

Her father, Michael, is almost always her first reader, and has been since she was little. He is a writer, as well, so is a great editor and close reader, and he’s always enthusiastic to see what she has written.

“The Lumberjack’s Dove” is the first poetry collection and was released in 2018. In the vivid and ingeniously imagined narrative poem “The Lumberjack’s Dove”, she describes a lumberjack that chops off his hand with an axe, but instead of it just being severed, his hand shapeshifts into a dove. Far from representing only an event of loss and pain in the body, it’s an incident that spirals outward to explore countless facets of being a human, prompting some profound reflections on memory and time, sacrifice and longing, and (lastly) considering the act of storytelling itself.

The lumberjack, his hand, and the ax which separated the two each become participants in this story, with unique perspectives to share and some lessons to impart. Axe tells the leaves and acorns that she taught their dads how to love. She means to be felled, sliced into lumber, and then reassembled into some new body.

Inflected with an uncanny enchantment of modern folklore and then animated by the sly shifting of perspective, this is richly textured and wise poetry from a boundlessly creative new voice.

“Thistlefoot” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A debut novel about estranged siblings that are reunited after getting a mysterious inheritance.

The Yaga siblings: Isaac (a con artist and wayfaring street performer) and Bellatine (a young woodworker) have been estranged since childhood, separated both by wide miles of American highway and resentment. However when they learn that they’re set to receive an inheritance, the siblings agree to meet, just to learn that their bequest is not money or land, but something much stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs.

Thistlefoot, which is what the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas’ ancestral home outside of Kyiv, however not alone. This sinister figure known just as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him some violent secrets from the past: fiery memories which have hidden in Bellatine and Isaac’s blood for generations.

While the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on one last cross country tour of their family’s traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. Ultimately, legacy, time, and magic have to collide, all erupting in a powerful conflagration to determine who gets to remember the past and create a new future.

This is an enchanted adventure illuminated by Jewish myth and adorned with lyrical prose just as sweet and tantalizing as briar berries. This is a sweeping epic rich in Eastern European folklore: a poignant and powerful exploration of healing from multi-generational trauma told by this bold new talent.

This is a wholly enchanting and a wonderfully imaginative novel about survival, witness, memory, and family which reads just like a fairy tale by Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman in a wild America that’s alive with devils and wonders alike. “Thistlefoot” shimmers with mayhem and magic and a thrilling emotional momentum.

Readers found this to be an exuberant, irresistible, and surefooted read, while brimming over with earthy magic, picaresque adventures, and some formidable and eccentric characters. She understands the precise alchemy of whimsy and darkness which comprise all of the best fairy tales. This is a near perfect bedtime story for grownups to read.

Book Series In Order » Authors » GennaRose Nethercott

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