Happy book birthday to HELPMEET by Naben Ruthnum, out today from Undertow Publications!

“A grotesquely beautiful, deeply unsettling, and utterly beguiling Kafkaesque novella … A reading experience that will linger long after the final page is turned.”
– Starred Review, Library Journal

“An odd, mysterious and at times revolting medley of body horror and weird fiction.”
– Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Author of Mexican Gothic, and Velvet Was the Night

“Through hauntingly concise prose, Helpmeet both acutely disturbs and captivates. This outstanding novella is a morbidly engrossing exploration of moral and physical decay and the shifting boundaries of love and devotion. The tight, incisive narrative is a chilling dive into mysterious forces that transcend the basic binary of good and evil, and the inherent depravity that humans themselves can’t comprehend until it’s too late.” 
– Waubgeshig Rice, Author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

“Naben Ruthnum’s Helpmeet is a remarkable throwback. The style, the precise prose, the lush imagery, the dreadful sense of wheels turning just past the reader’s sightline-I devoured it in a few delighted hours and it took me back to my teenage years, to afternoons squirreled away in the corner of my local library reading Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Chambers, Algernon Blackwood and the other great elder wordsmiths I cut my horror teeth on.”
– Craig Davidson, Author of The Saturday Night Ghost Club

“At the bitter end of the 19th century, a loyal wife cares tenderly for her dissolute husband as he nears his death from a mysterious, gruesomely corrosive disease. Helpmeet by Naben Ruthnum is a sumptuous excursion into surreal body horror and an unsparing exploration of the extreme frontiers of connubial devotion. Ruthnum delivers a uniquely unsettling Gothic love story-and it is first and foremost a love story-evoking the grisly Edwardian tales of W.W. Jacobs, William Hope Hodgson and Algernon Blackwood, while drawing in such modern masters as Barker, Del Toro and Cronenberg. Brief enough to be read in an evening, it holds certain images so grotesque that they will linger in your dreams for weeks.”
– David Demchuk, Award-winning author of The Bone Mother, and RED X

“An everyday tragedy spirals into a medical mystery and then into something much darker and more disquieting, executed in prose that glitters like candlelight on an open wound. I loved this intensely claustrophobic study of a complicated marriage twisting itself into something monstrous.” 
– Premee Mohamed, Author of the Beneath the Rising Trilogy

It’s 1900, and Louise Wilk is taking her dying husband from Manhattan to the upstate orchard estate where he grew up. Dr. Edward Wilk is wasting away from a mysterious affliction acquired in a strange encounter: but Louise soon realizes that her husband’s worsening condition may not be a disease at all, but a transformative phase of existence that will draw her in as much more than a witness.

Naben Ruthnum is the author of A Hero of Our Time, and Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. He lives in Toronto and also writes thrillers as Nathan Ripley. Naben is represented by Samantha Haywood.