Seven ingeniously reinvented fairy tales that play out with astonishing consequences in the modern world, from one of today’s finest short story writers—MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble

Featuring illustrations by award-winning artist Shaun Tan

Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers—characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.

In “The White Cat’s Divorce,” an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which child will become his heir. In “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear,” a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In “Skinder’s Veil,” a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers—or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.

Twisting and turning in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable—these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the realm of short fiction.
“Kelly Link’s stories are spooky and funny, grounded and floating, and, as always, completely her own. There is no mistaking a story by Kelly Link. This book is sublime.”—Emma Straub, author of This Time Tomorrow

“Kelly Link is the Alice Munro of the fantastic. These are big stories, tales you dive into, live inside, and come out the other end changed. Together, they make a glorious book, full of grand journeys across different times, experiences, and realities.”—Victor LaValle, author of Lone Women

“If I could find a way to use every superlative in a never-ending Borgesian Carteresque sentence, I would. Kelly Link’s stories are generous with their intellect, wit, humanity, and the hope and dread of what was, of what might be, of what is. White Cat, Black Dog is a marvel.”—Paul Tremblay, author of The Pallbearers Club

“With White Cat, Black Dog, Kelly Link puts her sui generis magic to work on the older magic of fairy tales, forging something revelatory. These stories delight and terrify us, and seem to say, Yes, this is the way the world works—haven’t you been paying attention? I am now. What a glorious and bewitching gift this book is.”Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson

“Kelly Link’s stories wriggle under your skin and take up a permanent home there, and somehow you’re grateful to be infested. White Cat, Black Dog is enchanting collection from one of the most astonishingly funny, unsettling, insightful, and brilliant writers of our time.”—Kiersten White, author of Hide

“Reading Kelly Link is stepping onto a slide that spirals you down into the heart of the kaleidoscope, splashes you into a technicolor fairy tale, and makes you either smile wide enough that you cry, or the other way around. Her storytelling is wondrous and fanciful, full of longing and terror.”—Stephen Graham Jones, author of Don’t Fear the Reaper

“These seven mischievous, nimble, joyful, wise, awe-inspiring, soul-enriching, positively Linkian fairy tales will make you feel like you’re discovering the power of stories for the very first time, and will expand your capacity for enchantment in our jaded world. This is a book I will read, reread, and treasure all my life.”—Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers