Improbable Press
Cart 0

Must. Resist. Having. Favorites.…Anna Karenina Isn't Dead

Anna Karenina Isn't Dead

By Atlin Merrick

Okay, this is a tricksy blog entry because I'm going to:

* Ask the writers of our most recent anthology, Anna Karenina Isn't Dead to do a thing I'm not willing to do;

* But only after I a little bit do the thing I just said I'm not willing to do.

And that thing is play favorites with our recent anthology Anna Karenina Isn't Dead.

Not Really But a Little Bit Kind Of

First I disclaimer all over everything: obviously all of the stories in the anthology are my favorites because these thirty-two tales were selected from over 220 submissions. This means I loves them all. I have thirty-two children and you can pry none of them from my very alive and thoroughly smacky hands. So don't even try it.


We have two styles of story in the collection. The first wonderfully rewrite the tales of women who were originally front and center but poorly done by, this includes Béatrice de Charmoy's "Lilac," about Anna Karenina herself, Miranda Jubb's unnamed but very present protagonist in "Beyond the Wall(paper)", and Sadie Fox Curtis' Jane Eyre in "Helen Highwater."

"I met Arthur Conan Doyle…"
Growing Tales (Scales)
'Write What You Know' is Absolute Garbage

Then there's the other style of story, doing something I also dearly love:

Giving voices to the voiceless.

In Jack Fennell's "The Leopard Queen" one of Dr Moreau's creations not only has a voice, she uses it to explain why hell no, she absolutely will not stop what she's doing which is, quite literally, changing entire worlds.

In Lena Ng's "Made for a Monster," Frankenstein's second creation not only lives, she demands from her creator freedom for herself and the creature for whom she was made, then she decides what that means – whether Victor likes it or not.

Again and again in this collection women who in fiction had no voice or agency take it, make it, have it. Their writers found wonderful words for these women who were given none.

That's one of my very favorite things about this book. Along with everything else that's wonderful, which is all of it. So there.

Now I wonder, writers of Anna Karenina Isn't Dead, what are some of your favorite things in the collection – a quote, a concept, a particular story and why?

Older Post

  • Dana on

    I’m so excited to read this anthology. The idea of giving these ladies their own agency is fantastic and I can’t wait to see all these empowering stories.

  • SM Lawson on

    I’m loving every story that I’ve read so far, but the one that resonated with me was “And Wendy” by Kenzie Lappin. Even as a child I thought that Wendy got the dirty end of the stick, having to care for and sew for and scold and all those boring things that adults have to do, while she was still a child and in the most exciting place imaginable. Kudos to Kenzie for giving Wendy her autonomy!

  • Ann S. Epstein on

    As the author of the penultimate selection in Anna Karenina Isn’t Dead (see “Snappily Ever After”), I was thrilled to receive my copy of the anthology so I could read the other entries. A few tales in, I was chortling and weeping, bravo-ing and booing. I vowed to continue reading them one at a time, the better to savor their individual creativity. But like potato chips, it’s hard to stop at just one. I ate the whole thing in one sitting. Fortunately, unlike a bag of snacks, a book of tales can be consumed again (and again). I’m off for yet another helping. Won’t you feast with me?

  • Nelly Shulman on

    I loved “Greater Expectations”! Such a fresh and witty take on the original story!

  • Sheryl on

    I haven’t yet made it through every story in this radical collection of intelligent voices, but I laughed out loud at “My Gratitude Journal,” re-tellling the Hansel and Gretel tale from the witch’s POV. Read this one first! You will never look at a fairy tale the same way again.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published