ISBN: 978-1-62557-152-6
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Scream Queen

Publication Date: October 2024


Spanning the varied regions of the American South, Scream Queen offers glimpses into the tumultuous lives of characters facing imminent disaster. The mother of a felon looks to a group of Tibetan monks for peace of mind. A priest whose faith has been shaken after a tragic loss is sent to investigate an alleged miracle in a backwoods Louisiana church. At an Alabama horror convention, a middle-aged actress is forced to confront the uncomfortable truth about her legacy. A punk rock musician in the early stages of dementia tries to reconnect with his estranged son after a lifetime of debauchery. The stories in this book are at once humorous and tragic, deftly navigating issues of violence, spirituality, addiction, parenthood, and mortality for a clearer understanding of how our failures ultimately shape us.


Scream Queen offers a panoply of stories that explore the extremes and subtleties of life, death, and nearly every state of being in between. The inescapable fact of loss features prominently, but never without Griffin’s insistence on reprieves to be found in love, humor, companionship, mystery and, for the reader, storytelling and language itself.

-Wendy Rawlings

In Scream Queen, Jeremy Griffin’s latest collection of short stories, we find characters fighting their way onto and off of the fringe. Be it a museum docent whose son is doing hard time, a town under siege by an insatiable alligator, or the titular scream queen, grappling with her fading and bizarre fame, Griffin is able to pinpoint their most intricate and exhilarating desires, what defines and motivates them as they navigate their corruptions. Facing their mortalities, his characters feel all their more real, their desperation so genuine, so familiar, so intoxicating.
—Michael Czyzniejewski

A veterinarian with Huntington’s, the mother of a convicted sex offender, a Catholic priest haunted by his sister’s senseless murder: people from all walks of life collide—sometimes literally—in Griffin’s gripping, grief-soaked stories. It’s been a while since I’ve read a collection that digs this deep or offers such empathy for what Frank O’Connor called “the outlawed figures” living on the fringes. The story “Solve” alone is worth the price of admission. At a time when hipster weirdness often masquerades as invention, Griffin shows us what true imagination can do.
—Eric Puchner

About the Author

Jeremy Griffin

Jeremy Griffin grew up in Louisiana and received his MFA in creative writing from Virginia Tech University. He is the author of the short story collections A Last Resort for Desperate People: Stories and a Novella, from SFAU Press; Oceanography, winner of the Orison Books 2018 Fiction Prize; and Scream Queen, winner of the 2023 BLP Hudson Prize. His work has appeared in such journals as the Alaska Quarterly ReviewBellevue Literary ReviewHopkins Review, and Oxford American. He has received support from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Simpson College in Iowa.

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