The Lost Daughter Collective
The Lost Daughter Collective
Publication Date: March 7 2017
Paperback: 184 pages
A group of bereaved fathers explores the risks involved in girlhood in this novel that collapses the distinction between gender and self, history and allegory
Using bedtime stories as cautionary tales, a Wrist Scholar relays the story of a fabled group of fathers coping with dead and missing daughters. When the girl sacrifices everything to send a final message to her father through her art and one lost girl is revealed to be not dead or missing but a daughter who has transitioned into a son, fathers are faced with the reality that their children’s “play” is anything but.
Caught in a strange loop that—like Escher’s “Drawing Hands”—confuses the line between reality and artifice, folklore and scholarship, far past and near future, The Lost Daughter Collective illustrates how the stories we receive are shaped by those who do the telling.
A story about the complex relationship between fathers and daughters as well as the ethics of storytelling, The Lost Daughter Collective is a gothic fairy tale fusing the fabulism at work in Donald Barthleme and Ben Marcus with the brevity and language play of Rikki Ducornet and Jenny Offill to raise questions about agency and authorship in our narratives.
Praise for Lost Daughter Collective
"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 Lost Daughter Collective] delivers an intelligent and densely layered story […] a fleet and eerie novel, like the last strand of dream before waking.”
“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.”
“[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 Solutions
About Lindsey Drager
Lindsey Drager is the author of The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), winner of the 2016 Binghamton University / John Gardner Fiction Award. Originally from Michigan, she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the College of Charleston, where she teaches in the MFA program in fiction.