Doors are special things in fantasy. You open a wardrobe or a cupboard or a gate and it can lead to the most wonderful place: one of enchantment, adventure, and most of all, escape. So it’s no wonder I’m so excited I’m practically in orbit about announcing the acquisition of Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel.
Mesmerizing and affecting, THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY follows a young woman’s search for her missing father, her place in the world, and the mystery behind an unexpected door.
Here’s a quick teaser of what you can expect:
When I was seven, I found a door. I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I’m not talking about your garden or common variety door that leads reliably to a white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet.
When I was seven, I found a Door. There–look how tall and proud the word stands on the page now, the belly of that D like a black archway leading into white nothing. When you see that word, I imagine a little prickle of familiarity makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You don’t know a thing about me; you can’t see me sitting at this yellowwood desk, the salt-sweet breeze riffling these pages like a reader looking for her bookmark. You can’t see the scars that twist and knot across my skin. You don’t even know my name (it’s January Scaller; so now I suppose you do know a little something about me and I’ve ruined my point).
But you know what it means when you see the word Door. Maybe you’ve even seen one for yourself, standing half-ajar and rotted in an old church, or oiled and shining in a brick wall. Maybe, if you’re one of those fanciful persons who find their feet running towards unexpected places, you’ve even walked through one and found yourself in a very unexpected place indeed.
Or maybe you’ve never so much as glimpsed a Door in your life. There aren’t as many of them as there used to be.
But you still know about Doors, don’t you? Because there are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our names. They lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, Atlantis and Lemuria, Heaven and Hell, to all the directions a compass could never take you, to elsewhere. My father–who is a true scholar and not just a young lady with an ink pen and a series of things she has to say–puts it much better: “If we address stories as archaeological sites, and dust through their layers with meticulous care, we find at some level there is always a doorway. A dividing point between here and there, us and them, mundane and magical. It is at the moments when the doors open, when things flow between the worlds, that stories happen.”
THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY will be on shelves Fall 2019, but in the meantime please join us in welcoming Alix! You can find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.