Nadia Bulkin writes scary stories about the scary world we live in, three of which have been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her stories have been included in volumes of The Year’s Best Horror (Datlow), The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Guran) and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction; in venues such as Nightmare, Fantasy, The Dark, and ChiZine; and in anthologies such as She Walks in Shadows (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and Aickman’s Heirs (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award). She spent her childhood in Indonesia with a Javanese father and an American mother, then relocated to Nebraska. She now has a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in international affairs, and lives in Washington, D.C.
Find Nadia on her website, or follow her on Twitter @nadiabulkin.
- CollectionsShe Said DestroyNadia Bulkin
She Said Destroy
“Survival-centric, morally curious […] horror is, in its pure form, much less common. I found it, though, in a few stories in Nadia Bulkin’s striking debut collection, SHE SAID DESTROY. Some of her pieces, like “Intertropical Convergence Zone” and “The Five Stages of Grief,” examine political oppression and the terrible choices it imposes. And those are distinctly horror tales of the “What threatens your existence and what will you do to get through?” variety, with a coldly angry 21st-century edge.”
The New York Times
“Bulkin takes roads less traveled, uncovering the things that squirm in the dark while daring readers to look away. There are visceral elements, but she doesn’t need to rely on blood and gore to convey a sense of horror, and haunting, lyrical prose elevates these sterling tales. Bulkin serves up cerebral horror with plenty of bite.”
“A rising star of the weird fiction subgenre, Nadia Bulkin intrigues with her debut story compilation, She Said Destroy. It features tales in which supernatural frights and real-world dread collide with power-hungry dictators, haunted hotels, cursed children, murderous monsters, bullies, “the final girl” trope, and much more. The author’s international upbringing and studies play out on the page; her stories weigh differing perspectives, give powerful voice to the forgotten, and find horror in experiences both extraordinary and mundane. In her hands, terror comes from the underlying truth that these stories are firmly rooted in the circumstances of our current society.”
“A smart, powerful debut collection.”
“Horror is best when it’s at an extreme that has nothing to do with levels of gore. Great horror happens when a story reveals some profoundly personal truth or when it reflects something ugly we can recognize on a broad, systemic scale. Nadia Bulkin writes what she describes as “socio-political horror” and it colors many of the stories in a debut collection that will surely be recognized as one of the year’s sharpest.”
“If you like cerebral speculative horror rooted in the world’s faults, this collection is for you.”
“SHE SAID DESTROY features tales of dictators, ghosts, family curses, monsters, and stolen children — just the kind of stuff any adventurous reader needs.”
“Surprising, compelling, and unflinching in their depiction of violence against, and between, human beings. The weaknesses and pain of these characters lead them inexorably to their fates. An overall theme of the stories is that our horror is born of the damage that has been done to us.”
“The impetus and sheer ferocity of some of the tales is balanced with a focus on personalities and relationships, quite a few of them in small-town American settings, but this is not quiet horror in the low-key, narrow-focus, down-tempo sense […] The locales range from Indonesia in the period of the mass killings of the mid-1960s, to Japan, to redneck country. The monsters and menaces are correspondingly diverse, and horrible.”
“Within these pages, you’ll find cold hard death, wry dark humor, pain and suffering, hauntings, strange religions, twists on cosmic horrors, familial legacies, and much more. Do yourself a treat, get this book, mark out a nice block of uninterrupted time, and sink on in. Just remember, this is the heavy stuff, the dark stuff; this is not gonzo splatter or quiet literary but its own deep brand of dread-at-the-core.”
“Nadia Bulkin’s thirteen stories are as diverse in their themes as they are in their settings, yet they piece together excellently to showcase her skills. Their often grotesque imagery is the stuff of nightmares, but, at the same time, they are impossible to stop reading. Bulkin’s enormous imagination is on full display here: trippy, nightmarish, and unforgettable.”
“Bulkin’s language delights. It delights in the beauty of its painful subjects and ruminates on so many of the things we wish we could forget […] The well-executed descriptions, the intense feelings of claustrophobia the writing evokes, the bizarre premise underlying some real problems people can experience even now. This is the power of Bulkin’s stories. Every story reads like this with care and a dedication that is rare even in the most promising authors.”
"A bloody howl, a wild walk that leaves your feet raw. Her concept of terror is so atavistic, so visceral, that my Paleolithic self just wanted to climb trees and throw rotten fruit at predators."