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The Wishing Pool and Other Stories


In her first new book in seven years, Tananarive Due further cements her status as a leading innovator in Black horror and Afrofuturism; featuring the 2023 World Fantasy Award–winning story, “Incident at Bear Creek Lodge”!

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What people are saying…

“Tananarive Due is the master of Black horror, even teaching a class where Jordan Peele guest-lectured. So her new collection, The Wishing Pool, out in mid-April, is a major treat, full of major scares. Due excels at twist endings but also brilliantly creates an atmosphere of creeping dread in which you know something terrible is coming. The Wishing Pool is helpfully divided into four sections, and each feels like a movement in a symphony. There are classic tales of horror, then a series of stories set in a Florida town where the swamp tends to swallow people up; the final two sections shift to science fiction about post-apocalyptic futures. (These last sections include pandemic stories, written before 2020, which hit harder now.) Due shows just how much territory she can cover in one short book and just how versatile terrifying tales can be.”
Washington Post

“Holy hell: These 14 stories from author and film historian Due might scare even the most dauntless horror fans to death. These tales of fright are both intellectually keen and psychologically bloodcurdling, no surprise from an award-winning writer whose command of the Black horror aesthetic rivals Jordan Peele’s in originality and sheer bravado . . . The hairbreadth between acute tragedy and the blackest of humor are child’s play for the author in ‘Haint in the Window,’ which masterfully nods to Octavia E. Butler in the story of a bookseller facing elements out of his control. The five tales in The Gracetown Stories give a sense of Stephen King’s fictional Derry or Jerusalem’s Lot . . . A patchwork of stories that somehow manages to be both graceful and alarming, putting fresh eyes to the unspeakable.”
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

“In these 14 powerhouse stories, Due probes history, the grim present moment, and not so far-flung futures, delivering an expansive collection that still hits close to home . . . There are no false notes; every piece is a study in tension, showcasing Due’s mastery at balancing action, suspense, and emotion. Centering Black characters and often Black experiences, this is a standout in both Black horror and the genre more broadly.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“The Wishing Pool is a master class in horror fiction and sci-fi written by one of the very best in the genre.”
—NPR’s Weekend Edition, included in Joe Hill’s book recommendations: “The best spooky reads for summer, according to a horror writer”

“Award-winning author Tananarive Due’s new 4-part collection of scary short stories examine horror, suspense and science fiction through the lens of racism, Afrofuturism and the supernatural, with plenty of enticing details to keep you hooked on every page.”

“This book is amazing. It’s been several years since Tananarive Due, one of the great voices in speculative fiction and horror, published a book, and what a book it is! . . . Due’s second collection of short stories is worth the wait . . . While the stories vary greatly in terms of character, plot, and style, they all have in common a rumbling undercurrent of fear that’ll have you biting the nails on one hand as fast as you’re turning the pages with the other.”
BookRiot, Recent Horror and Thrillers by Writers of Color

“One of Due’s skills is authentic dialogue and a smooth, easy, acceptable narrative. It’s easy to slip right into the story and lose all sense of time and place . . . During my read through this entire collection, I had an overwhelming sense of what a treasure short stories are; bite-sized works of fiction we can consume a little or a lot of depending on what our heart needs . . . This is a treasure!”
The Lineup

“The Wishing Pool and Other Stories marks Tananarive Due’s first solo work since her 2015 short story collection Ghost Summer and it’s a firecracker of a collection . . . like its predecessor, it covers a wide range of genres and subgenres—dystopian, Afrofuturism, horror, Southern gothic, fantasy/ supernatural—and highlights the best of what Due can do . . . As expected from the great Tananarive Due, The Wishing Pool is a strong set of short stories. It would make a great introduction to her body of work for new fans especially. Due is the queen of horror noire, and she is in fine form in this collection.”
—Locus Magazine

“One of the great torchbearers of Afrofuturism and Black horror . . . For Due, horror is situational and philosophical, a bubbling cauldron of terrible irony, systemic breakdowns, and worldwide devastation . . . The title tract in Wishing Pool, meanwhile, is a pitch-perfect, careful-what-you-wish-for tale that leaves readers pondering memory, identity and the meaning of happiness.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“This collection of 14 stories pulls together all of the genres Due does best—mystery, horror, sci-fi, and suspense—to tell truly terrifying stories filled with monsters both supernatural and real.”
Book Riot

“The Wishing Pool is the first book in seven years from the horror and Afrofuturism boss Tananarive Due. It’s a collection of short stories that are just as smart as they are scary.”
The Root

“For fans of Jordan Peele, horror book fanatics, and people who love short but powerful tales, this book is for you.”
Men’s Health

“Tananarive Due’s latest collection, The Wishing Pool and Other Stories is a must-read for fans of horror and speculative fiction . . . Due’s writing is captivating and the cover art perfectly captures the book’s springtime vibe. Overall, this collection is a testament to Due’s incredible talent and a must-read for any horror fan.”
The Lineup, spring preview

“I make no secret of the fact that I am both a lover of short fiction as well as a huge Tananarive Due fan. Her writing never fails to remind me that some of the most deliciously twisted imaginations in literature are possessed by some of the sweetest humans on the planet.”
—LeVar Burton

“Threads of connection weave throughout Due’s new collection, which will leave readers wanting more . . . Though the stories include a wide range of supernatural and more Earth-bound horrors, racism and anti-Blackness shadow all of the characters and drive much of the volume’s terror.”

“These stories are absolute gold . . . Reading Tananarive Due is like putting your hand on a power cable carrying high voltage; her fiction hums with an electrifying mix of joy and violence. She’s a virtuoso of genre and an oldschool scholar of suspense, and every new book is a cause for excitement.”
—Joe Hill, author of The Black Phone

“I enjoy reading the kind of novel that seduces me right into it and makes me forget about work or sleep. My Soul to Keep does that beautifully.”
—Octavia E. Butler, author of Kindred

“[A]ny new work from Due is cause for celebration . . . All these tales are incredibly well-written, and made me think of Octavia E. Butler on more than one occasion. If you’ve never read any Due, this is an excellent place to start. She is such an exciting writer, and an important voice in the horror community (her contributions to Shudder’s 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time were wonderful).”
California Reading

“An eerie epic . . . I loved this novel.”
—Stephen King on My Soul to Keep

“Tananarive Due’s characters quietly move into your heart and take up residence. You love them, you fear for them, and they scare you half to death.”
—Nalo Hopkinson, author of Skin Folk

“Due masterfully maintains suspense all the while delineating her characters with a psychological realism that makes the unbelievable credible.”
Washington Post Book World


American Book Award–winning author Tananarive Due’s second collection of stories includes offerings of horror, science fiction, and suspense—all genres she wields masterfully. From the mysterious, magical town of Gracetown to the aftermath of a pandemic to the reaches of the far future, Due’s stories all share a sense of dread and fear balanced with heart and hope. 

In some of these stories, the monster is racism itself; others address the monster within, each set against the supernatural or surreal. All are written with Due’s trademark attention to detail and deeply drawn characters. 

In addition to previously published work, this collection contains brand-new stories, including “Rumpus Room,” a supernatural horror novelette set in Florida about a woman’s struggle against both outer and inner demons.

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Published: 4/18/23
  • IBSN: 9781636141053
  • e-IBSN: 9781636141077


Tananarive Due is an award-winning author who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. Her stories have been featured on LeVar Burton Reads and Realm, and she is an executive producer on Shudder’s documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. Due and her husband/collaborator, Steven Barnes, wrote for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone and for Shudder’s anthology film Horror Noire. They also cowrote the Black Horror graphic novel The Keeper, illustrated by Marco Finnegan. Due and Barnes cohost a podcast, Lifewriting: Write for Your Life! Her latest work is The Wishing Pool and Other Stories.

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