Shelley Jackson has long been one of gothic fabulism’s most delightful and ambitious Renaissance persons. Her 1995 hypertext Patchwork Girl is a reimagining of Frankenstein by way of L. Frank Baum’s The Patchwork Girl of Oz, a labyrinthine and nonlinear rabbit-hole collage of quotations, allusions, and anatomical diagrams. In 2003 she began the novella Skin, published entirely as one-word tattoos on the bodies of several thousand volunteers; her ongoing novella project is written in snow. She is a visual artist who’s illustrated the covers and interiors of Kelly Link’s short story collections Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners as well as her own children’s books. And her most conventional (in form, anyway) novel to date, Half-Life, is the story of conjoined twins Nora and Blanche, one of whom is on a murderous quest to take back the first-person singular pronoun.
Riddance is Jackson’s first novel in twelve years, and it’s as noisy, category-defying, and fantastically weird a book as a longtime Jackson fan might hope for.