Canongate's lead debut fiction for the first half of 2019. Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein, My Name is Monster is a novel about power, about isolation, and about female relationships.
After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world.
Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar land made new. Slowly, piece by piece, she begins to rebuild a life. Until, one day, she finds a girl: feral, and ready to be taught all that Monster knows. Changing her own name to Mother, Monster names the child after herself. As young Monster learns from Mother, she also discovers her own desires, realising that she wants very different things to the woman who made, but did not create, her.
Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein, My Name is Monster is a novel about power, about the things that society leaves imprinted on us when the rules no longer apply, and about the strength and the danger of a mother's love.
About the Author
Born in Cumbria, Katie Hale is a poet, freelance journalist and educator. She took part in Penguin Random House's inaugural WriteNow scheme in 2018, has held Emerging Writer in Residence posts at Theatre by the Lake and Creative Futures Cumbria, and is currently working on an oral story-sharing project with the National Trust. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Breaking the Surface, was published by Flipped Eye in 2017. Her poetry has been awarded the Jane Martin and Ware Poetry Prizes, and has been shortlisted for the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize. My Name is Monster is her first novel.
"A terrific piece of writing; tough and tender and insightful. Loved it"
Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
"Katie Hale has written two fascinating, flawed and compelling characters and, with only two people and an empty world, has created a novel that is gripping, insightful and unique"
Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
"A riveting and disturbing novel, part twisted fairy tale and part dystopian nightmare, in which the primal human need to find meaning and love shines through the darkness of a ruined world"
Mick Kitson, author of Sal