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Book Pipeline Winner: Genre Novel Reimagines a Ghost Story

By November 26, 2018 No Comments

The Last to See Me – 2017 Book Pipeline Winner

M Dressler is the nom de plume of novelist, essayist, and professor Mylene Dressler. Following a successful career as a professional ballet dancer, she earned her PhD at Rice University, where she wrote and finished her first novel, The Medusa Tree, about a young dancer struggling against war and the myths of beauty and power entangling her family. Praised for this debut work as “a natural born storyteller” (Library Journal), she followed it with her “splendid” (The New York Times) second novel, The Deadwood Beetle, the story of an aging entomologist haunted by his harrowing, war-time past. Her stories often explore characters battling their ghosts, including her comic third novel, The Floodmakers(“a hilariously poisonous, devilish little tale”—Booklist), about a playwright who must decide whether to live or die among his obsessive family.

In her most recent book, the genre-bending The Last To See Me, she chose to reinvent the classic ghost story, creating “a seamless, gothic tale with a modern twist” (Publishers Weekly) praised as a “bewitching, gorgeous mystery” by Kirkus Reviews and as “chilling” and “unforgettable” by Booklist. She is currently at work on her fifth novel, another genre-bending gothic. In addition, her short stories and essays can be read in Literary Hub, the Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, Readers Digest, The Massachusetts Review, and The Washington Post, among others.

She lives and writes in North Carolina, and in the canyon country of southern Utah.

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From Book Pipeline: “Shows cinematic potential from the first chapter, then drifts into a contemplative and grounded experience. Beyond Dressler’s striking illustration of two eras–the California coast of the early 20th century and the near-future–the narrative’s slow burn builds up certain expectations, tears them down, and by story’s end presents us with something unique and memorable. Our POV through the eyes of a young woman long-deceased contributes to an engaging, emotionally jarring ride. The backdrop: nostalgic and oddly timeless. It’s often said there’s an X factor in the arts. In acting, in music, in writing. . . . The Last to See Me is certainly no exception to that rule. One could make a case, though, that this is no genre reinvention–it’s a reimagining. And a no-brainer for film adaptation.”

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