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Galley Love of the Week Giveaway
brought to you by Shelf Awareness

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Be among the first to read MY THROAT AN OPEN GRAVE a Shelf Awareness Galley Love of the Week. Presented on Mondays, GLOW selects books that have not yet been discovered by booksellers and librarians, identifying the ones that will be important hand-selling titles in a future season.

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Dear reader,

     It’s nice to “meet” you! If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in one or more of the following things:

  • Labyrinth, or more generally, David Bowie

  • the realization that the scary things are not always the things we’re told to be afraid of 

  • related: charming characters who we’re told to be afraid of, but realize are not actually the scary thing after all

  • folk horror with a heavy dose of romance

     My Throat an Open Grave is a mix of the above, set to the Hadestown soundtrack, with a lot of introspection and a sprinkle of reality TV. 

     The inspiration for My Throat an Open Grave came in the spring of 2022, when I was sitting at my parents’ house in Pennsylvania, marking papers for a Children’s Literature class I was teaching. I was reading a great paper about Maurice Sendak’s Outside Over There, which is actually the book Labyrinth was based (loosely) on. A lot happened in the US in the spring of 2022, much of it not very good, and for the first time, I felt like I had the power to say something about it. It wasn’t until I read that essay, then dug my heels into Kim Liggett’s The Grace Year that I thought there could be space for a book like this.

     I grew up in a small town. It’s impossible to talk about Winston without talking about my hometown, or what it was like to grow up there—and to be honest, I am probably a bit too harsh on my hometown in my descriptions of Winston. But I do know what the pressure was like: to be the good girl, to not step out of line, to push away any feelings that could lead you to fracture. Some of Leah’s recollections about her community are parallel to or loosely based on the things I learned when I was growing up.

     This is not an autobiography by any means. But if you see any of yourself in Leah or her struggles, I hope you know that you are not alone. There is a path out of the worst parts—and sometimes it happens to lead to the wood.



Tori Bovalino

A Note from the Author

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