Kayla perceives her world in vectors and variables, in quantities given and determined. She’s a prodigy. A genius. Yet there are equations she can’t solve. The vexing interactions of high school. The religious and populist politics that engulf the country. The nuclear exchanges that have darkened half the Earth. When the terrible tides crash into her life, Kayla is whisked from all she has known and deposited in a home for abandoned girls. Here, she finds love and acceptance and a sorrowful kinship—and also, the same violent divisions that tore apart her old life.
Rendered in lyrical prose and vivid imagery, The Magpie’s Return is a literary YA dystopian novel sprinkled with magical realism that paints a picture of revenge, redemption, and the quest for survival of one strong soul lost in a world gone mad.
Author Curtis Smith has published over 100 stories and essays, and his work has been cited by or included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Spiritual Writing, The Best Small Fictions, The Best Microfictions, and the WW Norton anthology New Micro. He has worked with independent presses to publish novels, story collections, essay collections, and a work of creative nonfiction. The Magpie’s Return is his 13th book. He lives and works in Pennsylvania. ◊