Publication Date
September 24, 2024

Necrology (the Dirty, #1)

Meg Ripley

It’s amazing what the spirit can cope with to preserve the body. My spirit is a mighty oak that just won’t fall.

In a fantastical aftermath of the Salem witch trials, magical women known as the Dirty have signed a contract swearing off their innate magic in exchange for freedom from violence by non-magical Freemen. Two hundred years later, in a Catskills orphanage, headmistress Whitetail has sprouted antlers—proof of a violated contract. When her wealthy benefactor visits, proposing marriage, her appearance sparks abuse. Rushing to her teacher’s defense, eight-year-old Rabbit curses the Beard dead, and Whitetail’s arrested on trumped-up charges.

As Whitetail awaits her trial and execution, Rabbit is groomed as the Freemen’s star witness and learns of the terrifying reality to which they aspire. With her magic at stake and a loose tooth in her mouth, Rabbit has little left to lose. And a revolution to gain.

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Praise for Necrology

Necrology has sentences with sharp teeth and characters that feel inhabited by lightning as they search for survival and autonomy in a world that seeks to snuff out their magic. Meg Ripley has created a visceral, vividly rendered cosmos of the mythic and animalistic; a story both familiar and fantastical, both ancient and fresh, highlighting the consequences of our historical narratives and of the history we continue to weave into our collective futures.” Erin Slaughter, author of A Manual for How to Love Us

“Meg Ripleyʼs bewitching prose drifts off the page in formidable whispers and sighs, potent enough to leave you believing sheʼs reading directly to you and only you. Necrology is a commanding incantation, a captivating read that casts its magic from page one. Let its spell wash right over.” Clay McLeod Chapman, author of What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters

Necrology is a lush and stunning debut. This gaslamp horror is full of remarkable characters and a rich, detailed alternate history that will sink you into the story and keep you there. Long after you’ve finished the final chapter, you’ll be left with the feminist urge to get Dirty.” Abigail F. Taylor, author of The Night Begins

“Wild, weird, and truly terrifying, the fanged beauty of Ripley’s prose plunges readers into a fantastical exploration of an all too familiar battle for liberation. An enthralling debut, captivating and powerful.” Elizabeth Kilcoyne, author of Wake the Bones, a 2023 William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist

“Meg Ripley’s Necrology is a deft exploration of a dark and thorny world filled with magic and misogyny. This thrilling and compelling read will keep you turning pages late into the night.” Natalka Burian, author of The Night Shift

About the Author

Meg Ripley was born in Ontario and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, surrounded by whales and icebergs. After a BFA from the University of Western Ontario with a focus in drawing and an interest in women’s studies, she won a stint as a fry-cook at the local diner. She set her sights on NYC and an MFA in illustration from The School of Visual Arts. The program’s mandatory (ahem, I-can’t-believe-they’re-making-me-do-this) writing workshop came to hold more value than she could have ever anticipated.

Her illustration work for various fashion and design agencies culminated in a tenure as creative director for a brand development firm—but then came her beautiful children, and an idea for a book that she couldn’t ignore.

These days, she writes horror and dark fantasy from her family’s Brooklyn apartment while ceaselessly singing the praises of both boredom and the outdoors to her two sons.