Saturday, February 18, 2023

Alyssa Wees

Alyssa Wees is the acclaimed author of The Waking Forest and Nocturne. She grew up writing stories about her Beanie Babies in between ballet lessons. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Wees's reply:
The thing that first drew me to Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm was the title, which means “witch” in Italian. It’s about a nineteen-year-old girl who goes to work as a maid in a hotel where there are no guests day after day. But after a large and glamorous party is held there one night, a girl goes missing and nothing will be the same. This is a short book, but it’s as sharp as a blade, dripping with a haunting, oppressive atmosphere and characters that purposefully blend together into one voice, one piercing cry against the boundaries and expectations of womanhood. It’s surreal and labyrinthe, a ghost story though there isn’t necessarily a ghost. It reads almost like a teenage girl whispering in your ear the wildest story you’ve ever heard, wherein nothing really happens except that the whole world ends. There are no easy or clear answers to be found here, leaving a lot to the reader to deduce, and begs a subsequent read to unlock all its mysteries. Overall Strega is intriguing, fantastically written, and one of my new favorites.
Visit Alyssa Wees's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Waking Forest.

The Page 69 Test: The Waking Forest.

--Marshal Zeringue