GennaRose Nethercott is a writer and folklorist from the woodlands of Vermont. Her first book, The Lumberjack’s Dove, was selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series and her debut novel was released in 2022. She tours nationally and internationally, performing strange tales (sometimes with puppets in tow) and composing poems-to-order on an antique typewriter with her team The Traveling Poetry Emporium.
10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
State Capitol, Senate Committee Room F
Thistlefoot: A Traveling Baba Yaga Puppet Show
(for ages 13 and up)
11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
Noon to 4:00 p.m.
State Library, Lobby
with Cassandra de Alba and GennaRose Nethercott
Thistlefoot: A Novel
In the tradition of modern fairy tales like Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver comes a sweeping epic rich in Eastern European folklore—a debut novel about the ancestral hauntings that stalk us, and the uncanny power of story.
The Yaga siblings—Bellatine, a young woodworker, and Isaac, a wayfaring street performer and con artist—have been estranged since childhood, separated both by resentment and by wide miles of American highway. But when they learn that they are to receive a mysterious inheritance, the siblings are reunited—only to discover that their bequest isn’t land or money, but something far stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs.
Thistlefoot, as the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas’ ancestral home in Russia—but not alone. A sinister figure known only as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him violent secrets from the past: fiery memories that have hidden in Isaac and Bellatine’s blood for generations. As the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on a final cross-country tour of their family’s traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. Ultimately, time, magic, and legacy must collide—erupting in a powerful conflagration to determine who gets to remember the past and craft a new future.
An enchanted adventure illuminated by Jewish myth and adorned with lyrical prose as tantalizing and sweet as briar berries, Thistlefoot is an immersive modern fantasy saga by a bold new talent.
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