An Unpublished Novel From “Geek Love” Author Katherine Dunn Is Finally Being Released This Year

It's not the only new property from the late Portland writer about to see the light of day, either.

Katherine Dunn (courtesy of Katherine Dunn estate)

A new Katherine Dunn book is due to arrive this year, four years after the Geek Love author's death.

Written sometime after 1971's Truck and before her masterwork, 1989's Geek Love, Toad was meant to be the acclaimed Portland writer's third novel.

At some point, though, Dunn—a longtime WW contributor—came to dislike the book, and decided not to have it published.

"It was written in a very dark period—she was kind of down, kind of depressed," her son Eli Dapolonia told The Oregonian in 2017. "She was normally such a positive person, so she decided she didn't want it published."

But according to the web site Literary HubToad will finally see the light of day this fall, via publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The site quotes Publisher's Marketplace, which says the book's plot, about "a woman who has retreated into a life of isolation following a breakdown," is inspired by Dunn's time at Reed College in the late 1960s.

In 2017, Dunn told The Oregonian that Toad was rejected by her editor "in a very ferocious fashion," which perhaps led to her negative feelings toward the book.

"'Nobody in this book is likable!'" she recalled being told. "Which was discouraging."

It's not the first Dunn property to be released since her death from lung cancer in 2016: Last year, Tin House published On Cussing, a transcript of a lecture Dunn gave at Pacific University.

Related: "On Cussing" Proves the Late Portland Writer Katherine Dunn Still Has Many Bleeps Left to Give.

And it won't be the last, either—Literary Hub also reports an as-yet-untitled short story collection, featuring several previously unseen works, is slated for 2021.

There appear to be no plans, however, to release The Cut Man, Dunn's long-shelved followup to Geek Love.

Related: The Strange and Beautiful Life of Katherine Dunn, Portland's Beloved Geek.

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