BOOKS BY OCTAVIA FROST

The Nobodies Album

Octavia is now at work on the forthcoming The Nobodies Album.

My Only Sunshine (2009)

How does the world look to its newest inhabitants? In this astonishing and daring new novel, Octavia Frost takes us to a place we've all visited, though we can't quite recollect its landscape: infancy. Starting from the one experience we all share — birth itself — and moving into the tragic particulars of one baby born into one family, Frost sheds new light on how we become who we are.

“Ms. Frost has a...[talent]...for capturing the rich texture of life as we live it.” Jules Buhney, The Barnstable Review

Carpathia (2006)

It's 1935, and animator Oscar Clough's life has reached a new low: his fiancee has left him, he's drinking heavily, and the cartoon studio he works for is struggling in the face of competition from Disney and stricter censorship rules resulting from the new Hays Production Code.

As Oscar sinks into depression and uncertainty, unexplained images start appearing in the cartoons he has drawn: a playing card hidden in a garden of flowers; a bell drawn into the pattern of a woman's dress; a ship's oar nestled among the swirls of bark on a tree trunk. As the images accumulate, Oscar wonders whether he's losing his mind, or whether someone is sabotaging his drawings, or even—perhaps—whether there may be supernatural forces at work. With the help of Cecily, a receptionist at the studio and the only other person who shares his ability to see the hidden pictures, Oscar is forced to confront an event he's long tried to forget: his trip on the ill-fated Titanic at the age of nine.

“Intriguing in concept and execution.” Stephen Snow, Kirkus Reviews

The Human Slice (2002)

“The day we all began to lose our memories was a Tuesday.” So begins Octavia Frost's startling and poignant novel, The Human Slice. When Hope Russo begins to forget her most painful memories, her family wonders if it's a psychological defense mechanism; after all, she's still reeling from the recent death of her young son, Jonah. But it soon becomes apparent that Hope is not alone. People all over the world are suffering similar memory losses, a phenomenon soon dubbed WSA (Widespread Selective Amnesia): happy memories stay in place, but unhappy ones simply disappear. Only a small minority, including Hope's mother-in-law Linda, seem to be immune from this epidemic. Narrated in turn by each member of the Russo family — grandmother Linda, mother Hope, father Rich, 15-year-old Macy and 12-year-old Kyra — The Human Slice combines fable, science fiction and family drama to create an all-too-realistic tale of tragedy and that malleable substance called human nature.

“A timely, beautifully imagined parable.” Jeanne Kern, The New York Times Book Review

Tropospheric Scatter (1999)

In 1964, engineer Howard Liles moves his wife Marie and 10-year-old son, Tom to the far edge of the earth: Kotzebue, Alaska, thirty-three miles above the Arctic Circle, where Howard has a job working on the military's White Alice Communication System. Shortly after they arrive, in the midst of adjusting to their desolate new home, Marie makes a startling discovery while doing some charity work for her church: she finds a 6-year-old girl, raised in terrible neglect and squalor and now orphaned. The family takes this nearly feral child into their home, and raises her, learning from her as much as she learns from them.

From its captivating beginning to its tragic and shattering climax, Tropopsheric Scatter is a novel you won't soon forget.

“Surprising and compelling...Frost is at the top of her game.” Francis P. Carney, Washington Post Book World

Sanguine (1997)

Matilda, a young widow in 16th-century England, supports herself and her son Hugo through her work as an "empiric" lay-healer. Her skill at bloodletting and delivering babies has made her an indispensable member of her community. But now, as more and more female healers and midwives are charged with witchcraft, Matilda reluctantly puts away her lancet and her herbs. Until Hugo falls ill.

A novel about redemption, maternal responsibility, and that vital substance that flows through our veins, Sanguine is a poignant and gripping achievement.

“Frost pulls away history's dry wrappings layer by layer, until she finds its beating heart.” Aiko Smith, The Boston Globe

The Rule of the Chalice (1995)

Nikki is a woman facing enormous tragedy: her young son, Caleb, has been abducted and murdered by her former boyfriend, Gordie. In the aftermath, Nikki makes an unusual career change; she takes a job with a cleaning company that specializes in CTS: crime and trauma scene clean-up.

As Gordie's trial progresses and Nikki becomes accustomed to this new and difficult kind of work, Nikki retreats further and further into her grief. Until she meets Scott, a gay man whose partner has recently been murdered, and his young daughter, Daisy. Through this new friendship, Nikki finds a way to mourn Caleb and still move forward, and to forgive herself for that most bittersweet crime: continuing to live.

“Unflinching and heartbreaking.” Lonnie Johnson, Publishers Weekly

Crybaby Bridge (1993)

Alannah Ringgold died angry. After discovering that her husband has been having an affair, she drives off in the rain to confront him, only to skid through a guardrail on a bridge and plunge into the water below.

Now, devastated by her separation from her 12-year-old son and unwilling to leave her child in the care of the man who betrayed her, Alannah finds herself stuck in the earthly realm, unable to move on to whatever might come next. She haunts the new family whose lines have been drawn in her absence, and places her son in the center of a custody battle between the living and the dead.

“An astonishing debut. The pain on the page is palpable.” Sara Ferdinand, author of The Ultraviolet Catastrophe