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Carrie Laben

Carrie Laben grew up in western New York. She earned her BS at Cornell and later her MFA at the University of Montana. She now lives in Queens, where she spends a lot of time staring at birds. Her work has appeared in such venues as Birding, Clarkesworld, The Dark, Indiana Review, Okey-Panky, and Outlook Springs. In 2017 she won the Shirley Jackson Award in Short Fiction for her story “Postcards from Natalie” and Duke University’s Documentary Essay Prize for the essay “The Wrong Place.” In 2015 she was selected for the Anne LaBastille Memorial Writer’s Residency, in 2018 she was a MacDowell Fellow, and in 2019 she was a resident at Brush Creek. A Hawk in the Woods is her first novel. She is currently at work on a book of essays about urban environmentalism.

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A Hawk in the Woods: Monsters may be scary, but it’s family that’ll get you

A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben

Abby Waite, a moderately successful internet celebrity, is diagnosed with a terminal disease. The prognosis, even with treatment, isn’t good, so Abby decides it’s time to break her twin sister Martha, serving a twenty-year sentence for murder, out of prison, and go to the family cabin in Minnesota. It should come as no real surprise that the prison-break is the easiest thing to accomplish in A Hawk in the Woods (2019), by Carrie Laben, a road-trip-family-reunion-horror-story inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Thing on the Doorstep.”

Both Waite daughters have powers. They are orphaned, and now that they are out on the road, it seems that they have attracted the attention of various horror-style predators. The story alternates between the weird road trip and flashbacks to ... Read More