These are the stories of the comic book women whose storylines were hijacked, waylaid or destroyed by or in service to the men they love. I found myself drawn into each-and-every one of these, including one of the most fascinating looks at a Harley Quinn-esque character. Valente’s work is never for the faint of heart, but as always you will find it deeply moving and rewarding if you give it a try.
The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics
From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.
In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.
About the Author
Catherynne M. Valente is the acclaimed author of The Glass Town Game, and a New York Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and has won the Locus and Andre Norton award. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, one enormous cat, a less enormous cat, six chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, and an Oxford English Dictionary. Visit her at CatherynneMValente.com.
One of The 11 Best Books of 2017 — : Vox.com
"This is Valente at her sharpest and most pointed, ably assisted by illustrations from comics artist Annie Wu (Black Canary)."
— -- Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)
"Valente proves her adroitness with imagery and emotion in this extraordinary book of linked stories." — -- Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
“In this novella, the superhero girlfriend gets to tell her own version of events in the afterlife. The women’s voices are strong: bitter and full of pain, yet steel-tipped in sarcasm and humor.” — -- The Washington Post
""The real fun of The Refrigerator Monologues comes from Valente’s hyper-stylized voice, inflected by turns with pop, jazz, and opera as she moves from heroine to heroine, genre to genre. It’s by turns bitingly sarcastic and wistfully regretful, and always ferociously angry at the narrative in which this collection of women has been trapped.” — -- Vox
"The illustrations by longtime comic artist Annie Wu are an extra gift to this heartbreaking series of stories. Don’t turn from their stories, no matter how hard they can be to hear. Verdict: Buy it, damn you, and listen to their stories.” — - BookRiot
"It’s hard to single out one tale. They are all of a piece- and they expertly dissect a common type of lazy storytelling that still crops up far too frequently. It’s not about angry polemics; instead, these monologues have their own energy and life that is both painful and captivating” — -- Locus Magazine
“Readers adventurous enough to parachute into unfamiliar literary territory will be rewarded by Valente’s biting wit, outlandish world-building and well-focused sense of outrage." — -- Portland Press Herald