Dorothy is not the least bit prepared to hear the urgent news on the radio: a monster has escaped a research facility in her town. She is definitely unprepared to see the monster walk through her door. A celebration of female sexual liberation, Mrs. Caliban is one of the strangest books I've ever read, but it is so well done, you can't help but root for the monster. One of the oddest love stories out there, it brought out sharp pains of empathy in me, much like Frankenstein did. So lovely. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
In which a lonely housewife falls in love with a tall, handsome sea creature and discovers the devastating secrets underpinning her life. Mrs. Caliban is a strange and lovely little tale from a deplorably underappreciated author, worth rereading for years to come! Recommended By Lauren P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In the quiet suburbs, while Dorothy is doing chores and waiting for her husband to come home from work, not in the least anticipating romance, she hears a strange radio announcement about a monster who has just escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research…
Reviewers have compared Rachel Ingalls’ Mrs. Caliban to King Kong, Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, the films of David Lynch, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, E.T., Richard Yates’s domestic realism, B-horror movies, and the fairy tales of Angela Carter—how such a short novel could contain all of these disparate elements is a testament to its startling and singular charm.
"[A] peculiar but wonderful and long-overlooked novella…" NPR
"I’m obsessed with Mrs. Caliban, Rachel Ingalls’s perfect, short, bizarre, heartfelt, insane 1982 novel about a woman and a lizard." Vogue
"Indeed, as a feminist piece with a deep romantic core, that might best explain Mrs. Caliban’s ability to emerge as an unlikely literary classic. There’s the sheer entertainment factor — steamy Aquaman sex, anyone?—but then just underneath is a real depth, a quiet brilliance in its study of behavior and circumstance. It cuts through the noise, enlightening while also resonating, soothing in its dreamy surrealism. And isn’t that the perfect recipe for an enduring classic?" David Canfield, EW
About the Author
Rachel Ingalls is an American-born author who has lived in the UK since 1965. She is the author of the novels Mrs. Caliban and Binstead’s Safari as well as numerous novellas and short stories.