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

“A copperhead strike of a novel that shows all the ways in which a person can be more snake than human. Southern religious horror to wrap around your throat like kudzu, Antenora will linger with you long after the last page.” CJ Leede, author of Maeve Fly and American Rapture

“A startling and thought-provoking meditation of religion and community expectations in the American South, Antenora is a profoundly compelling novella written with such richness and complexity.” Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke

Antenora is a singularly haunting book which perfectly illustrates the experience of taking comfort in something destructive. A possession tale like no other. Lumpkin has presented us with a horror story that truly resonates.” Cat Voleur, author of Revenge Arc

Antenora delves beneath the hypocritical ‘keep sweet’ veneer of Christianity in the Deep South to the vicious oppression lurking just below the surface, exploring the complications of repressed sexuality and forced submission through beautifully fleshed out characters while still delivering the expected gruesome scenes and tension of a horror story. A spectacular read that will break your heart in the best way.” Emma E. Murray, author of When the Devil

“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.