Other Sellers on Amazon
Follow the Author
Mapping the Interior: A Tor.com Original Paperback – June 20, 2017
Enhance your purchase
"Brilliant." ―The New York Times
Mapping the Interior is a horrifying, inward-looking novella from Stephen Graham Jones that Paul Tremblay calls "emotionally raw, disturbing, creepy, and brilliant."
Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings readers a spine-tingling Native American horror novella.
Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.
"Brilliant." ―The New York Times
"Stephen Graham Jones's Mapping the Interior is a triumph. So emotionally raw, disturbing, creepy, and brilliant. You will not be unmoved. You will not be unaffected. It's a ghost story in the truest, darkest, most melancholy sense. Stephen knows we are haunted by our parents, our families, and our shared pasts as much as we are haunted by ourselves; haunted by who we were, who we become, and who we could've been." ―Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock
"Stephen Graham Jones’s chilling Mapping the Interior is part S.E. Hinton and part Shirley Jackson. It’s about being young and broke, and that moment when you first wonder who your parents really are. The answers are out there, but they will leave you haunted forever." ―Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series
"Mapping the Interior is Jones at his best." ―PANKMagazine
"A chilling tale told from a less-heard perspective, Mapping the Interior is the type of horror story you keep on your shelf for regular hauntings." ―Rue Morgue
"Mapping the Interior is thus a masterful critique of time, place, and memory in (post/de)colonial contexts that surfaces questions urgent for Native literature, horror fiction, and American history." ―World Literature Today
"Wonderfully refreshing and not to be missed." ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES was raised as pretty much the only Blackfeet in West Texas - except for his dad and grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins. He now lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, a couple kids, and too many old trucks. Between West Texas and now, he's published more than twenty books, including the novels The Fast Red Road, Ledfeather, and Mongrels, and the short story collections After the People Lights Have Gone Off, States of Grace, and The Ones that Got Away.
Stephen’s been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Awards for Multicultural Fiction, three This is Horror awards, and he’s made Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Novels of the Year. Stephen teaches in the MFA programs at University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California Riverside-Palm Desert.
- Publisher : Tordotcom; First Edition (June 20, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 112 pages
- ISBN-10 : 076539510X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765395108
- Item Weight : 3.53 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.27 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #457,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mapping the Interior is a unique piece of fiction in many ways. For one, Jones’ prose is unbelievably beautiful; almost lyrical. It has a deceptive flow to it which lulls the reader into appreciation of Jones’ story-telling without at first noticing that the story’s narrator is totally unreliable. In some ways, Mapping the Interior is reminiscent of what now may be an almost forgotten, albeit brilliant novel, The Kryptonite Kid (1979) by Joseph Torchia in which the reader is forced to evaluate and try to detect fantasy from reality. Jones’ narrator, however, makes it even more difficult than does Torchia’s.
There is no doubt that by time Jones’ narrator sees his father’s ghost that the boy is haunted; but by exactly what? Determined to see his father again, the boy tries to trigger more sleep-walking episodes and he goes so far as to draw a map of the family’s floor plan to their inadequate modular house—including under it—to try to find evidence of his father’s presence. The book’s title, thus, becomes a wonderful metaphor for the boy’s internal search of the house as well as himself.
During all of Mapping the Interior there are moments of realist family drama and interactions between the two brothers and between the brothers and their mother. Some scenes reflect great love. Some reflect tragedy and fear. Growing up for those that are considered different and who do not have much of any luxury to fall back upon is difficult. However, in Mapping the Interior there are also genuinely frightening events—made all the more alarming by the fact that the line between reality and fantasy is a blur throughout and the narrator’s citing of events is filled with misleading contradictions. The ground upon which the reader stands is ever uncertain and shifting.
By time readers reach the end of the novel they will most likely have gained some greater appreciation of modern American Indian life and the trials many of those individuals face without having been preached to by Jones. As per the plot and story, readers who must have everything spelled out for them in black and white with every loose end neatly tied up are likely to be disappointed. Mapping the Interior will best be appreciated by readers who revel in superb writing and who enjoy experiencing a wonderful literary experience and a small glimpse of the terrors of the unknown and the confusion that can be wrought by the human psyche. Because of its length, readers will be tempted to consume all of Mapping the Interior in a single sitting, but that would be like chugging a fine wine meant to be sipped and would not do justice to this short, but phenomenal work of art.
Briefly, this is the story of a young boy of Native American heritage who deeply misses his dead father, a ne'er-do-well who'd always dreamed, fruitlessly, of becoming a ceremonial dancer. The boy struggles with his grief and yearning, and he also takes responsibility for the protection of his younger, mentally disabled brother. When the youth believes he has seen his father's ghost in their house, he decides to do all he can to help his dad return to life.
Some situations, especially involving a neighbor's vicious dogs, are as scary as any supernatural occurrences. Overall, "Mapping the Interior" is an atmospheric page-turner; short, but a good, scary, thought-provoking read.
A twelve year old isn't exactly a kid, isn't a teen yet, can't quite be anything because nothing...literally no thing...is stable, permanent, fully itself in his head. And we all know that Reality is just a shared fantasy. At least, all of us whose lives have changed because impossible, fantastic, unreal things have happened to us.
Make no mistake, this story will not leave you unchanged. It might, if you're a particular kind of person, leave you alone with memories you didn't much want to believe were still there. It could, for a different kind of person, be terrifying and strange to mentally see a dead person walking through a room.
You won't know which you are until you read these hundred:-plus pages. Which you need to do.
Still here? Go get this story! Scoot!
Jones walks the reader down a trail of memories, holds back a branch to reveal a key detail, and he lets go just as the reader moves in for a closer look. When he reveals the true horror, the reader is sent flying backwards with terror and pain. I lost all hope for a happy ending when the 12 year old takes abeating from a naked man.
While not the most frightening story I've read by Jones, this is still high-quality storytelling. I also recommend the short story, THE NIGHT CYCLIST, by SGJ: a spectacular twist on a classic horror theme.
Top reviews from other countries
Mapping the Interior is a story of the protagonist, a sleepwalker, who at fifteen years of age sees the silhouette of his dead father (or at least he thinks it is his father) in the house where he, his mother, and younger brother who suffers from seizures live. Nothing is clear about the father’s death who died mysteriously before the family left the reservation.
In all of this, the boy wants to know more. So, he decides to understand where he came from, where his family came from – their culture and roots but also about the house and its hidden corners and passages, and to comprehend the haunting (if that’s what it is).
Stephen Graham Jones’ writing is beyond superlative. The way he blends coming of age with a supernatural story, and also about what it means to be clueless about identity is staggering, and that too with such brevity. It is so short that it can be devoured in a day, and that was also one of my issues with it – I wish it were longer because it is so good. At the same time, I am also conflicted in thinking that the length is just right for the story Jones wanted to tell. I cannot begin with explore his other books and read them all, one after the other.