Carmen Maria Machado’s first graphic novel, The Low, Low Woods, illustrated by Dani, is due out in September.

The novel is set in a fictional coal mining town called Shudder-to-Think, Pa., and like the notorious mining town of Centralia, Pa., the town of Shudder-to-Think is slowly dying, a victim of underground fires perpetually burning deep in abandoned coals mines beneath the city. But the town is victimized by more than its defunct industries. Strange creatures, part woman and part beast, seem to roam the woods and townspeople are suffering from an illness that works to destroy their memories. Indeed, when El and Vee, two young women who reside in the town, emerge from a movie with no memory of the film they were watching, they begin to look for answers.

Influenced by horror and science-fiction classics as well as queer theory, Machado’s work has been compared to that of Shirley Jackson and Helen Oyeyemi and cited for its feminist-driven exploration of the lives of women.

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