Publication Date
October 1, 2024


Dori Lumpkin

Antenora: Dante’s ninth circle of hell reserved for traitors to their country.

What really happened to Nora Willet? The religious community of Bethel, Alabama can’t agree on the truth. They always said she was trouble. Later, they said she was possessed. Maybe she lost her mind, killing three people and injuring many others.

In a part confessional, part plea for Nora to come home, Nora’s childhood friend Abigail Barnes tells of another girl’s gruesome eighteenth birthday, of the time Nora may have fully revived a snake, of the intimacy of their private encounters at the lakeside, of Nora’s deliverance ceremony. Where, Abigail wonders, is Nora now?

In this tender and horrific debut, religious dogmatism sniffs out two girls whose innocent affections threaten an entire town and way of life, making one a traitor to a homeland in which only Abigail and Nora know the bittersweet truth. A homeland in which Nora can only say, “There’s a snake speaking to me, Abby-girl.”

Praise for Antenora

“In this atmospheric, colubrine tale, Lumpkin expertly weaves together small-town religious fervor with holy snake handling. Amidst the crushing isolation of highly regulated patriarchal norms, childhood friends Abigail and Nora must navigate an unexpected—and socially unacceptable—change in their feelings. To complicate matters, something dark and rebellious is blooming inside Nora, which bares its fangs with devastating results. Fans of The Wicker Man and The Devil All The Time should keep an eye on this extremely talented newcomer.” Lindz McLeod, author of Turducken and Sunbathers

“Dori Lumpkin has given us a meditative pageturner on memory, community, and religion in the Deep South. You won’t soon forget its tenderness and its terror. Come for the horror, stick around for the lyrical prose on par with the gothic greats. This book marks the debut of a brilliant new voice. Antenora is as moving as it is startling to watch unfold.” Caleb Johnson, author of Treeborne

About the Author

Dori Lumpkin is a queer writer and storytelling enthusiast from South Alabama. Their work has appeared in many publications, including Susurrus, The Deeps, and Demons & Death Drops, among others. They believe that storytelling, and especially horror storytelling, is fundamental to understanding the human experience and the world around us. You can find them @whimsyqueen on most social media websites.