Molly is a dedicated, ambitious paleobotanist who spends her days working at a fossil quarry where they have recently discovered artifacts that defy understanding—including a controversial bible which is drawing tourists and conspiracy theorists to the site. Her musician husband has to leave town for a week on tour, and predictably, Molly finds herself frazzled and sleep-deprived caring for their two young children on her own.
When an intruder in a deer mask appears in the house one night, their confrontation reveals the trespasser’s peculiar and chilling familiarity with the most intimate details of their lives. Feeling the edges of her reality have begun to blur, Molly is desperate to keep her children safe and acquiesces to the intruder’s demands in order to protect them. In the otherwordly days that follow, Molly’s personal and professional crises collide as she discovers both the true identity of the intruder and what really lies within the fossil quarry.
Helen Phillips is the author of, most recently, the novel The Need. Her collection Some Possible Solutions received the 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the NYPL Young Lions Award. Her collection And Yet They Were Happy was named a notable collection by The Story Prize. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green. Helen has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Tin House, and on Selected Shorts.
Darcey Steinke is the author of the New York Times Notable memoir Easter Everywhere, as well as five novels. In 2017 Maggie Nelson wrote a foreword for a new edition of Suicide Blonde. With Rick Moody, she edited Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited (Little, Brown 1997). Her books have been translated into ten languages, and her nonfiction has appeared widely. Her web-story Blindspot was a part of the 2000 Whitney Biennial. She has been both a Henry Hoyns and a Stegner Fellow; Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi; and has taught at the Columbia University School of the Arts, Barnard, The American University of Paris, and Princeton. Flash Count Diary is her most recent book.