Fiction, November 2019

His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler

His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Re-imagined edited by Dahlia Adler. September 10, 2019. Flatiron Books, 470 p. ISBN: 9781250302779.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA.

Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining “Ligeia), Kendare Blake (“Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Amanda Lovelace (“The Raven”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Drugs, Strong language, Strong sexual themes, Underage drinking, Transphobia

 

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews starred (August 1, 2019)
A genre-bending collection of 13 twists on Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Editor Adler (contributor: It’s a Whole Spiel, 2019, etc.) does Poe proud with this creepy and atmospheric set of stories inspired by a handful of his most well-known works. All are well worth reading, but there are quite a few standouts, including Rin Chupeco’s (contributor: Hungry Hearts) ebullient “The Murders in the Rue Apartelle, Boracay,” in which an effervescent Filipina trans woman joins up with her dashing new half-French, half-Filipino boyfriend to solve the baffling murders of two American tourists on the island of Boracay. Lamar Giles’ (The Last Last-Day-of-Summer) unsettling “The Oval Filter” features African American football star Tariq, whose dead girlfriend’s distorted images appear on his phone—and they seem to be trying to tell him something. “The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde (The Fire Opal Mechanism) is an adrenaline rush of a tale about assumed white orphans Rik and Mad, brother and sister twins, who must hack their way out of an intimidating Scottish bank for a life-changing prize—a challenge many before them have failed. Strong feminist themes appear throughout, and genres run the gamut from futuristic to gothic and lots in between. Diversity in race, gender identity, and sexuality is well represented. As a bonus, all of the original stories and poems are included. Poe’s ghost happily haunts this fresh, delightfully dark collection. (author bios) (Anthology. 14-adult)

Library Journal (September 1, 2019)
Thirteen of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous works are reimagined by YA authors in this compilation of delightfully shivery tales with strong adult crossover appeal. Tessa Gratton’s “Night-Tide” reworks “Annabel Lee” in a story about family obligations and a lost love between two teen girls. Kendare Blake’s “She Rode a Horse of Fire” recounts an act of dark vengeance enacted by a ghostly woman to a callous young man. “Happy Days, Sweetheart,” by Stephanie Kuehn is a retelling of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” with a jealous high-school student as the guilty killer of her rival. In “The Oval Filter,” by Lamar Giles, a high school football player seeks the answer to who killed his crush, a social media influencer. This collection shines in getting readers to view Poe’s work in a new light, featuring characters from diverse ethnic backgrounds, queer protagonists, and other perspectives not represented in the earlier texts. Packaged in the book are the original stories, making comparisons between the old and the new works easy for readers. VERDICT A solid collection of thoroughly modernized Poe classics, recommended for YA shelves and classrooms or for die-hard Poe scholars.-Jennifer Mills, Shorewood-Troy Lib., IL

About the Editor

Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for B&N Teens and LGBTQReads by night, and a writer of Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She’s the author of the Daylight Falls duology, Just Visiting, the Radleigh University series, and Cool for the Summer (Wednesday Books, 2021); a contributor to anthologies All Out, The Radical Element, and It’s a Whole Spiel; the editor of the anthologies His Hideous Heart and That Way Madness Lies (2021).

She lives in New York with her husband, son, and overstuffed bookshelves. Her website is www.dahliaadler.com.

Teacher Resources

Collection of Edgar Allan Poe Lesson Plans

Around the Web

His Hideous Heart on Amazon

His Hideous Heart on Barnes and Noble

His Hideous Heart on Goodreads

His Hideous Heart on LibraryThing

His Hideous Heart Publisher Page

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