Brynne Rebele-Henry was born in 1999. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Rookie, and Blackbird, among other places. Her writing has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has two books of poetry: Fleshgraphs and Autobiography of a Wound, which won the AWP Donald Hall Poetry Prize and is a finalist for the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Orpheus Girl is her first novel.
In her debut novel, award–winning poet Brynne Rebele-Henry re-imagines the epic of Orpheus as a love story between two teen girls in rural Texas.
Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-old Raya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in a small conservative Texas town. For years Raya has hidden her feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the two are caught in an intimate moment, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education camp meant to “fix” them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival Raya vows to assume the mythic role of Orpheus to save them both and to return them to the world of the living, at any cost.
In a haunting voice reminiscent of Sylvia Plath, with the contemporary lyricism of David Levithan, Orpheus Girl is a mythic story of dysfunctional families, first love, heartbreak—and the fierce adolescent resilience that has the power to triumph over darkness and ignorance.
#OWNVOICES: The writing is lyrical, beautiful, with a haunting thread, in a voice that is incredible for any author, not to mention one who is 18 years old.
NECESSARY: The setting is a depressing reality for many young adults from strict, conservative families. Though tough, it is a neccessary story that needs to be told.
AWARDS CONTENDER: Beneath the LGBTQ theme is a metaphor for the Greek story of Orpheus. The writing is smart yet accessible.
AWARDS WINNER: Author’s poetry has won multiple awards, and she has been published in literary mags and culture sites such as Prairie Schooner, Fiction International, Rookie, ANK, and Revolver.
On Sale Date: October 8, 2019 – Soho Teen