A perfect novel.

—Rivka Galchen

Now back in print, Mrs. Caliban is “totally unforgettable” (The New York Times Book Review) and “something of a miracle” (The New Yorker)

Mrs. Caliban

Fiction by Rachel Ingalls

With a contribution by Rivka Galchen

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published November 28, 2017)

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Ebook (published November 28, 2017)


Perhaps Ingalls’s finest accomplishment in the novel is the unflappable gentleness of her tone, which records supernatural surprise and flaming horror simply, almost tranquilly. The result is paradoxically quotidian and dreamlike, like a fable or folktale.

Los Angeles Review of Books

A slim surrealist masterpiece.

LA Times

Thirty-five years old, it is fresher than most things written yesterday. I wish I could say that I have always known about it. Instead I confess to the zeal of a new convert. Every one of its 125 pages is perfect, original, and arresting. Clear a Saturday, please, and read it in a single sitting.


A love affair with a 6-foot-7-inch amphibian might not be every woman’s fantasy, but for Dorothy—the lonely housewife at the center of this soon-to-be-reissued 1982 novel—it’s working out just fine. A short, funny, bizarre novel that’s worth your time.

Los Angeles Magazine

By marrying domestic realism with the literature of the bizarre, Ingalls brings tenderness to the monstrous and renders the recognizable utterly weird. Compact yet capacious, the novel wonders at all the ways we can desire and destroy one another. It’s unabashedly campy and deadly serious; it dares the reader to admit that these aims are not at all at odds.

Literary Hub

Some writers make me laugh out loud; Rachel Ingalls makes me cackle. For her 1982 masterpiece, the short novel Mrs. Caliban, Ingalls takes a B-movie premise and pounds it into a thrilling new shape.

—Ed Park, Village Voice

Mrs. Caliban is one of my favorite novels in the world.

—Daniel Handler

Ms. Ingalls is an experienced writer of novels and stories, and her performances are immensely skillful, reminiscent of the best film thrillers.

—Ursula K. Le Guin

I loved Mrs. Caliban. So deft and austere in its prose, so drolly casual in its fantasy, but opening up into a deep female sadness that makes us stare. An impeccable parable, beautifully written from first paragraph to last.

—John Updike

A perfect novel.

—Rivka Galchen

As deranged as the whole thing is, Ingalls’s prose, strikingly austere, taps into a profound sadness, too: Is Mrs. Caliban a work of fantasy or are we inhabiting the psyche of a woman unhinged? …[B]egs to be read over and over again.

The Paris Review