A wondrous, tender novel about a young girl grappling with her role in a tragic loss—and attempting to reshape the narrative of her life—from PEN/Faulkner Award nominee Claire Oshetsky
Margaret Murphy is a weaver of fantastic tales, growing up in a world where the truth is too much for one little girl to endure. Her first memory is of the day her friend Agnes died.
No one blames Margaret. Not in so many words. Her mother insists to everyone who will listen that her daughter never even left the house that day. Left alone to make sense of tragedy, Margaret wills herself to forget these unbearable memories, replacing them with imagined stories full of faith and magic—that always end happily.
Enter Poor Deer: a strange and formidable creature who winds her way uninvited into Margaret’s made-up tales. Poor Deer will not rest until Margaret faces the truth about her past and atones for her role in Agnes’s death.
Heartrending, hopeful, and boldly imagined, Poor Deer explores the journey toward understanding the children we once were and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of life’s most difficult moments.
Claire Oshetsky is the author of Chouette, which was a PEN Faulkner Nominee, the winner of the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and the Barbellion Prize. They live in Santa Cruz with their family.
"Readers will be captivated by Margaret’s beautifully weird search for atonement." — Publishers Weekly