In this haunting and hypnotizing novel, a young woman loses everything—half of her body, her fiancé, and possibly her unborn child—to a terrible apartment fire. While recovering from the trauma, she discovers a photo album inhabited by a predatory ghost who promises to make her whole again, all while slowly consuming her from the inside out.
Read an excerpt in Cemetery Dance.
Read an excerpt in Apex Magazine.
“Paper Tigers is full of hauntings of every sort, a modern ghost story of the very best kind, combining the delicate mania of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the subtlety of Shirley Jackson and the raw dynamism of Joyce Carol Oates. But what Walters delivers here is thoroughly her own creation: a starkly beautiful tale of what it means to survive.”
Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After
“Paper Tigers gathers the best from every childhood scary story—creepy antiques, haunted houses, seemingly friendly ghosts—and repackages them with the worst and most isolating of adult fears. Walters’ prose is vivid and gripping, luring you in, feeding you images that will leave you comforted by the light of your bedside nightstand; horror nostalgia at its finest.”
Rebecca Jones-Howe, author of Vile Men
“With Paper Tigers, Damien Angelica Walters has created a hauntingly elegant portrait of loneliness and longing for healing. But where she confronts real terror is in answering the question of what it costs the wounded to be whole again. This book is at once as beautiful and frightening as a scar on smooth skin or a scream with perfect pitch.”
Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home and Stranded
“Damien Angelica Walters pulls you into the heart of her characters and traps you there until you’re not sure if the story is haunting you, or you’re haunting it. Wonderfully creepy and heartwarming, fear and sadness alternate and blend throughout in a story that’s packed with atmosphere. Keep the lights on and the tissues close.”
Sarah Read, editor of Pantheon Magazine
Sometimes a thread pulled through the flesh is all that holds you together. Sometimes the blade of a knife or the point of a nail is the only way you know you’re real. When pain becomes art and a quarter is buried deep within in you, all you want is to be seen, to have value, to be loved. But love can be fragile, folded into an origami elephant while you disappear, carried on the musical notes that build a bridge, or woven into an illusion so real, so perfect that you can fool yourself for a little while. Paper crumples, bridges fall, and illusions come to an end. Then you must pick up the pieces, stitch yourself back together, and shed your fear, because that is when you find out what you are truly made of and lift your voice, that is when you Sing Me Your Scars.
In her first collection of short fiction, Damien Angelica Walters weaves her lyrical voice through suffering and sorrow, teasing out the truth and discovering hope.
Named Short Story Collection of the Year in the 2015 This is Horror Awards
Title story nominated for a 2015 Bram Stoker Award
Read the title story free online in Apex Magazine.
“Damien Angelica Walters writes prose as sharp as a scalpel. With surgical precision, she slices through her characters’ veneers to lay bare the secret scars underneath, the knots of fear and desire twisting them. The women and men in these stories struggle against their own, oddly-beautiful damage, and even when they succumb to it, the narrative is never less than compelling. Anatomist of dreams and nightmares, Walters is a writer to watch.”
John Langan, author of The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies