New book by UC Blue Ash staff member offers dark twist to fairy tales

Academic tutor Alison Balaskovits receives rave reviews for her fabulist fiction

"Strange Folk You’ll Never Meet" is a new book that leads you to dark encounters with odd characters and familiar fairy tales that don’t always have a happy ending.

Alison Balaskovits is the author and an academic tutor in the Writing and Study Skills Center at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College.

“'Strange Folk You’ll Never Meet" is a collection of short stories, a lot of which are retellings of fairy tales or retellings of weirdos from history, though there are some totally made-up stories too,” said Balaskovits, who writes under the pen name A. A. Balaskovits. “I wrote this book because I quite like short form and I enjoy experimenting with language.”

The book is published by SFWP and is Balaskovits’ second entry into the world of fabulist fiction. Her first book, "Magic for Unlucky Girls," won the Santa Fe Literary Projects Awards grand prize in 2015.

Balaskovits has received rave reviews for the originality of her stories and her ability to interlock the horrific and the wondrous. Her newest book features a fabulist feminist edge and is certainly not for the faint of heart.

“It’s for those who are not afraid of body horror or the grotesque; a lot of these stories are pretty violent,” says Balaskovits, who notes that she draws inspiration from the Grimms, Anderson, Perrault and similar collectors of fairy tales. “I hope those who read it are entertained, but I also hope they look at their world around them in a different way.”

"Strange Folk You’ll Never Meet" is available to order online from a variety of outlets.

Head shot of Alison Balaskovits

Alison Balaskovits. Photo/University of Cincinnati/Pete Bender

 A woman wearing a dress stands in front of a thin, winding tree on the cover of the book "Strange Folk You'll Never Meet" by A. A. Balaskovits

The cover of "Strange Folk You'll Never Meet." Photo provided by Alison Balaskovits.

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