What I Didn't See and Other Stories

by Karen Joy Fowler
Release date: September 2010
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, short stories
Tags: world fantasy award

World Fantasy Award 2011.

In her moving and elegant new collection, New York Times bestseller Karen Joy Fowler writes about John Wilkes Booth’s younger brother, a one-winged man, a California cult, and a pair of twins, and she digs into our past, present, and future in the quiet, witty, and incisive way only she can.

The sinister and the magical are always lurking just below the surface: for a mother who invents a fairy-tale world for her son in “Halfway People”; for Edwin Booth in “Booth’s Ghost,” haunted by his fame as “America’s Hamlet” and his brother’s terrible actions; for Norah, a rebellious teenager facing torture in the Shirley Jackson Award winning “The Pelican Bar” as she confronts Mama Strong, the sadistic boss of a rehabilitation facility; for the narrator recounting her descent in “What I Didn’t See.”

With clear and insightful prose, Fowler’s stories measure the human capacities for hope and despair, brutality and kindness. This collection, which includes two Nebula Award winners and some stories which have been significantly rewritten since first publication, is sure to delight readers, even as it pulls the rug out from underneath them.


  • The Pelican Bar — World Fantasy Award winner; Shirley Jackson Award winner
  • Booth’s Ghost
  • The Last Worders
  • The Dark
  • Always — Nebula Award winner
  • Familiar Birds
  • Private Grave 9
  • The Marianas Islands
  • Halfway People
  • Standing Room Only
  • What I Didn’t See — Nebula Award winner
  • King Rat
(updated 2015-01-09)

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