About the author Sharma Shields, novelist & short story writer

The Cassandra, Available Now

Order at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA

IndieBound

Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, WA

Fact or Fiction in Missoula, MT

Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR

Find at your local public library through WorldCat

Barnes and Noble or Amazon

Hudson Booksellers

iTunes


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Events

March 21st, 7 PM: Reading from The Cassandra with Richard Fifield. Fact or Fiction, Missoula, MT.

March 13th, 7 PM: Northwest Passages Book Club with Nancy Pearl. A benefit for the Friends of the Spokane County Library District. Bing Crosby Theater, Spokane. Tickets here.

March 29th, 10:30-11:45 AM: AWP Panel Discussion, Timely vs. Timeless: How to Balance a Hot Topic vs. Creating Timeless Literature. With Susan Choi, Katherine Howe, and Tanya Selvaratnam. Virginia Barber Middleton Stage, USC Exhibit Hall, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR.

April 25th, 7 PM: Get Lit! Programs “Poetry and Prose” Reading with poet Jonathan Johnson. Downtown Spokane Public Library.

April 27th, 1:30-2:30 PM: Get Lit! Programs Panel Discussion with Simeon Mills, Amy Ratto Parks, Kisha Llewelyn Schlegel, Rob Schlegel, and Jeremy N. Smith. Montvale Event Center, Spokane.

May 31st: Stories on Stage. Sacramento, CA.

Praise

Rooted in the geography and culture of the communities Hanford displaced, Shields’ reworking of the classic myth—about a young woman whose warnings about a future she alone can see are ignored—is filled with grotesque and violent images and episodes of keening sorrow. Shields delivers what her heroine cannot: a warning, impossible to ignore, about the costs of blind adherence to ideology.
— Kirkus
In a timely take on the Cassandra story for the #MeToo era, Shields poses critical questions: Why do we ignore the truth when women tell it? Why do we compound the injury of rape with the insult of not believing the women to whom it happens? With all due respect to Virgil, it’s high time we had a Cassandra story told by a writer whose primary purpose is not to sing of arms and men.
— Steve Nathans-Kelly for New York Journal of Books
The Cassandra is a challenging novel. It’s a weird, discomfiting book of epic poetry and intimate prose that grows both more and less fictional with each passing page... utterly compelling and beautiful in unexpected ways.
— Alex Brown for Tor.com
[A] galvanizing variation on the ancient Greek tale of a seer doomed always to be right, yet never to be believed. Shields offers satirically comedic scenes and satisfyingly venomous takedowns of the patriarchy, welcome flashes of light in this otherwise harrowing dive into the darkest depths of hubris and apocalyptic destruction. A uniquely audacious approach to the nuclear nightmare.
— Booklist, Starred Review
[An] alluring, phantasmagoric story...With a plucky, charismatic narrator and vivid scenes incorporating the history of a real WWII facility, Shields’ novel digs into the destructive arrogance of war.
— Publisher's Weekly
Balancing thorough research and mythic lyricism, [The Cassandra] is a timely warning of what happens when warnings go unheeded.
— The Millions, "Most-Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2019 Book Preview"
The Cassandra is a fantastic achievement of unflinching honesty, psychic power, and sustained empathy. Sharma Shields’ fearless reckoning with American might at the beginning of the nuclear age closes the distance between victor and victim, historical detail and mythic truth. This fevered novel’s seer will infect you with her visions, but her moral candor will work on you long after the dream is over.
— Smith Henderson
The Cassandra feels powerfully—chillingly—relevant to our own political moment, even as it unfolds against the bleak splendor of the 1940s American West. It’s a harrowing story, beautifully told, of patriarchy and violence intertwining to make a combustible monster; and of the woman who speaks the truth about this monster, only to be dismissed as unhinged.
— Leni Zumas
A stunning fable of hubris, complicity, and nuclear genesis, set against the raw backdrop of the wartime northwest. Sharma Shields illuminates the grotesquerie of humanity’s progress and offers up an elegy for a damned world.
— Megan Kruse
Sharma Shields is one of our finest literary fabulists and The Cassandra is further proof – a brilliantly tightening knot of dread, a phantasmagoria of nightmares and daytime horrors that glows with powerful insights about the nation’s reckless nuclear history and its corrosive chauvinism.
— Shawn Vestal
The Cassandra is a magnificent exploration of the consequences—both incredible and devastating—of human ingenuity and human intuition. This novel is full of magic and hope, even while it brings up to the light some of our darkest past.
— Ramona Ausubel

 

THE SASQUATCH HUNTER'S ALMANAC: A NOVEL

Winner of the 2016 Washington State Book Award in Fiction.

A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive Sasquatch he encountered in his youth.

 

FAVORITE MONSTER: STORIES

Winner of the 2011 Autumn House Fiction Prize, selected by Stewart O'Nan.


About

Photo by Rajah Bose

Photo by Rajah Bose

The Spokane Medusa

From a broadside of  Favorite Monster , courtesy of Whitman University

From a broadside of Favorite Monster, courtesy of Whitman University

Sharma Shields is the author of a short story collection, Favorite Monster, and a novel, The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac. Henry Holt will publish her next novel, The Cassandra, in early 2019. Sharma’s writing has appeared in Electric Lit, SliceThe New York Times, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, and elsewhere and has garnered such awards as the 2016 Washington State Book Award, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor, a Grant for Artist Projects from Artist Trust, and the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington (2000) and her MFA from the University of Montana (2004). Sharma has worked in independent bookstores and public libraries throughout Washington State and lives in Spokane with her husband and two young children. Sharma is the President of the Board of the Friends of the Spokane County Library District.


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Press

The Cassandra

“In This Updated Myth, Female Intuition Goes Nuclear” in The New York Times Book Review.

“The Cassandra Author Sharma Shields Discusses Atomic Bombs and Cursed Women” in Paste Magazine.

“The Cassandra: A Novel” in New York Journal of Books.

“Raise the Wild Cry: The Cassandra by Sharma Shields” in Tor.

“Selfless Girls Will Win Us the War” in Electric Lit.

“8 Great Books to Read This February” in NYLON.

“Sharma Shields’ highly anticipated novel The Cassandra recounts a dark slice of state history with a prescience for the future of nuclear politics” in The Inlander.

“Sharma Shields’ The Cassandra is Building Buzz” in The Spokesman Review.

“16 Fiction Releases to Watch For,” Washington Independent Review of Books.

“61 Books We’re Looking Forward to Reading in 2019,” Huffington Post.

“21 of the Best New Historical Novels Coming this Winter,” BookBub.

“Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2019 Book Preview,” The Millions.

The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac

“A Guest Review of Sharma Shields’s The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac" by Shawn Vestal. Omnivoracious.

“An Interview with Sharma Shields and Caroline Zancan” by Celia Johnson. Slice Magazine

“Finally, a Novel About Sasquatch that Really Gets It Right” by Paul Constant. The Stranger.

“13 Novels to Devour This February” by Natalie Beach. O Magazine.

“What We’re Reading Now,” by Steph Opitz. Marie Claire.

“Ten Titles to Pick up Now,” by Natalie Beach. O Magazine.

“Sharma Shields’ Debut Novel Makes Fantastical Footprint,” by Carolyn Lamberson. The Spokesman Review.

Bookey, Mike. “Monsters & Demons: The Dark Yet Oddly Lovely World of Sharma Shields.” The Inlander.

Jones, Nicole. “Bleak Books to Read in January,” by Nicole Jones. Vanity Fair.

“The 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2015,” by Mark Medley. Globe and Mail.

“Breaking Big: Stars on the Rise in 2015. Names to put on your radar in movies, TV, music, books, and stage.” Entertainment Weekly.

“20 Books We’ll Read in 2015.” Entertainment Weekly.

“A Total Hot Mess of Bookage: Books for Dudes,” by Douglas Lord. Library Journal.

“Bigfoot, Myths and Bedtime Stories,” by Samuel Dunnington. Spark, The Online Magazine of Humanities Washington.

“The Book to Read in 2015? The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac,” by Misha Stone. The Booklist Reader.

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Publications

Books

The Cassandra, Henry Holt, February 2019

The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac, Henry Holt 2015

Favorite Monster, Autumn House Press, 2012

Stories

"Residents of the Air" in Catapult

"Boy Toy" in Hobart

"Sharpen Your Knives: Three Mother Stories" in Crab Creek Review

"Our Christophers" in Okey Panky

"The Bottomless Pit" in Electric Literature

"Harmony" in Slice

“The McGugle Account” in The Iowa Review

“Souvenirs” in Fugue

“Field Guide to Monsters of the Inland Northwest,” in The Kenyon Review.

Non-fiction / Book Reviews

“Make Me a Cold and Pitiless Goddess” in The New York Times.

“Great Grinning Things: Multiple sclerosis and transitions in Nicola Griffith’s novel So Lucky” in Cascadia Magazine

“Sex, Love, and Religious Fervor Abound in Two New Novels,” A review of The World is a Narrow Bridge and The Devoted. New York Times Book Review.

"A Drinking Memoir" in The Inlander

"Parenting on the Dark Side" in The New York Times

Ridiculous uncategorizable material

“Bigfoot was Just the Beginning: Inside the Secret Fetishes of Other American Politicians” in Slate.