Ab(solutely) Normal edited by Nora Shalaway Carpenter and Rocky Callen: Book is available 4/11/23.
Channeling their own experiences, sixteen exceptional authors subvert mental health stereotypes in a powerful and uplifting collection of fiction.
A teen activist wrestles with protest-related anxiety and PTSD. A socially anxious vampire learns he has to save his town by (gulp) working with people. As part of her teshuvah, a girl writes letters to the ex-boyfriend she still loves, revealing that her struggle with angry outbursts is related to PMDD. A boy sheds uncontrollable tears but finds that in doing so he's helping to enable another's healing. In this inspiring, unflinching, and hope-filled mixed-genre collection, sixteen diverse and notable authors draw on their own lived experiences with mental health conditions to create stunning works of fiction that will uplift and empower you, break your heart and stitch it back together stronger than before. Through powerful prose, verse, and graphics, the characters in this anthology defy stereotypes as they remind readers that living with a mental health condition doesn't mean that you're defined by it. Each story is followed by a note from its author to the reader, and comprehensive back matter includes bios for the contributors as well as a collection of relevant resources.
With contributions by:
Mercedes Acosta * Karen Jialu Bao * James Bird * Rocky Callen * Nora Shalaway Carpenter * Alechia Dow * Patrick Downes * Anna Drury * Nikki Grimes * Val Howlett * Jonathan Lenore Kastin * Sonia Patel * Marcella Pixley * Isabel Quintero * Ebony Stewart * Francisco X. Stork
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ABOUT THE EDITOR
Nora Shalaway Carpenter is the contributing editor of the critically acclaimed YA short story anthology Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America, which was named an NPR Best Book of the Year, A YALSA Best Fiction YA selection, a TAYSHAS list selection, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, among numerous other honors. Her debut YA novel The Edge of Anything was named a Bank Street Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best book, and A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year. Her next novel, Fault Lines, is forthcoming from Running Press Teen. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Connect with her at noracarpenterwrites.com, on TikTok @norashalawaycarpenter, or on Instagram @noracarpenterwrites.