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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

The Archive of Alternate Endings by Lindsey Drager

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The Archive of Alternate Endings by Lindsey Drager

Drager Cover.jpg
Drager Cover.jpg

The Archive of Alternate Endings by Lindsey Drager


Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-945814-82-2
Product Not Yet Released
Orders ship in April

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Tracking the evolution of Hansel and Gretel at seventy-five-year intervals that correspond with earth’s visits by Halley’s Comet, The Archive of Alternate Endings explores how stories are disseminated and shared, edited and censored, voiced and left untold.

In 1456, Johannes Gutenberg’s sister uses the tale as a surrogate for sharing a family secret only her brother believes. In 1835, The Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm revise the tale to bury a truth about Jacob even he can’t come to face. In 1986, a folklore scholar and her brother come to find the record is wrong about the figurative witch in the woods, while in 2211, twin space probes aiming to find earth's sister planet disseminate the narrative in binary code. Breadcrumbing back in time from 2365 to 1378, siblings reimagine, reinvent, and recycle the narrative of Hansel and Gretel to articulate personal, regional, and ultimately cosmic experiences of tragedy.

Through a relay of speculative pieces that oscillate between eco-fiction and psychological horror, The Archive of Alternate Endings explores sibling love in the face of trauma over the course of a millennium, in the vein of Richard McGuire's Here and Lars von Trier's Melancholia.


"The Lost Daughter Collective is not subtly brilliant. Its brilliance washes over you in waves, again and again, immersing you in the text and giving you an experience of constant awe... Drager continues to be a force and should be recognized widely for her work."
The Rumpus

“[The Lost Daughter Collective] delivers an intelligent and densely layered story […] a fleet and eerie novel, like the last strand of dream before waking.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The gorgeous language and urgent, controlled voice spark a complicated and cerebral narrative that contains more layers with each re-reading. … The Lost Daughter Collective serves as an excellent addition to the canon of modern fairy tales.”
Black Warrior Review

A catalogue of paternal neglect reminiscent of macabre German cautionary tales like Max und Moritz and Der Struwwelpeter.” 
Quarterly West

“[Drager] writes with such power, grace and inventive style […] a story that pierces one's heart.”
—Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books

“Lindsey Drager’s The Lost Daughter Collective is, among other things, a stately and meticulous catalogue of grief. It’s not so much a narrative as an accumulation of immaculate sentences and paragraphs that grow into a garment, a body, an emersion. But most of all, it’s an adventure of the in-between, my favorite place in the whole world.”
—Jim Krusoe, author of The Sleep Garden

The Lost Daughter Collective is a breathtaking book, an examination of loss in all of its heartbreaking forms and the stories that keep that loss alive. Drager’s writing, the crystalline beauty of her sentences, renders these stories that much more wondrous. It’s hard to accurately pinpoint just how she makes this novel encompass both comfort and pain in such equal measures, but I am grateful for its magic.”
—Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

“Lindsey Drager boldly reinvents fairytales and evokes dystopic futures. The Lost Daughter Collective casts a bizarre and exquisite spell.”
—Helen Phillips, author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat and Some Possible


Lindsey Drager is the author of The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), winner of the 2016 Binghamton University / John Gardner Fiction Award, and The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc, 2017), winner of a 2017 Shirley Jackson Award and finalist for at Lambda Literary Award. She is an assistant professor at the College of Charleston.