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Ingalls, Rachel

(US, 1940– )

Rachel Ingalls is best known as the author of short stories and novellas where elements of fantasy and psychological horror erupt into everyday lives. Mrs Caliban (1982) is a good starting-point, a compelling short novel in which an ordinary woman finds herself involved with a mysterious sea-creature as her life slips into fantasy. Theft (1970) centres on two men held in a prison cell during a violent social disturbance. Black Diamond (1992) is a collection of five novellas linked by themes of kinship: in Bud and Sis adopted children seek revenge on their blood parents, while in Be My Guest a girl befriends a boy who claims to be an adult trapped in a child's body. Ingalls's themes are often focused on repressed emotions, and the damage they return to inflict, and her stories use updated versions of parables to dramatize them.

Angela Carter, Patrick McGrath,

Ian McEwan  WB

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)