Speak Easy [signed hardcover] By Catherynne M. Valente
PC COPY Subterranean Press
Dust jacket illustration by Michael Wm. Kaluta
If you go looking for it, just about halfway uptown and halfway downtown, there’s this hotel stuck like a pin all the way through the world. Down inside the Artemisia it’s this mortal coil all over. Earthly delights on every floor.
The hotel Artemisia sits on a fantastical 72nd Street, in a decade that never was. It is home to a cast of characters, creatures, and creations unlike any other, including especially Zelda Fair, who is perfect at being Zelda, but who longs for something more. The world of this extraordinary novella—a bootlegger's brew of fairy tales, Jazz Age opulence, and organized crime—is ruled over by the diminutive, eternal, sinister Al. Zelda holds her own against the boss, or so it seems. But when she faces off against him and his besotted employee Frankie in a deadly game that just might change everything, she must bet it all and hope not to lose…
Multiple-award-winning, New York Times’ bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente once again reinvents a classic in Speak Easy, which interprets “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” if Zelda Fitzgerald waltzed in and stole the show. This Prohibition-Era tale will make heads spin and hearts pound. It’s a story as old as time, as effervescent as champagne, and as dark as the devil’s basement on a starless night in the city.
Limited: 1250 signed numbered hardcover copies, fully bound in cloth
From Publishers Weekly:
“Valente’s language is extravagantly rich, and her world is filled with fascinating details. The amount of story packed into this slender volume would easily fill a novel…”
From RT Reviews:
“Valente’s Prohibtion-era spin on the classic story of ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is thoroughly eerie and enchanting… this fresh fairytale gets under your skin quicker than Zelda Fair's black-market booze.”
From Library Journal:
“Casting infamous flapper Zelda Fitzgerald as the lead (and a pelican as her devoted follower) is just one of several inspired alterations that makes this novella a cut above the usual fairy-tale retellings.”