Thea Prieto

Thea Prieto is a recipient of the Laurels Award Fellowship, as well as a finalist for the international Edwin L. Stockton, Jr. Award and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She writes and edits for Poets & Writers, Propeller Magazine, and The Gravity of the Thing, and her work has also appeared at New Orleans Review, Longreads, Entropy, The Masters Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches creative writing at Portland State University and Portland Community College. From the Caves is her first book.

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From the Caves

Thea Prieto

Publication Date: August 10, 2021

$14.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781636280028


Environmental catastrophe has driven four people inside the dark throat of a cave: Sky, a child coming of age; Tie, pregnant and grieving; Mark, a young man poised to assume primacy; and Teller, an elder, holder of stories. As the devastating heat of summer grows, so does the poison in Teller’s injured leg and the danger of Tie’s imminent labor, food and water dwindling while the future becomes increasingly dependent on the words Sky gleans from the dead, stories pieced together from recycled knowledge, fragmented histories, and half-buried creation myths. From the Caves presents the past, present, and future in tandem, reshaping ancient and modern ideas of death and motherhood, grief and hope, endings and beginnings.


“From the Caves hits like a postapocalyptic punch in the gut. It’s both a devastating cautionary tale and a terrible and beautiful testimony for the power of stories to transcend through impossible grief.” —Doug Lawson, author of Bigfoots in Paradise

“As parched as J. G. Ballard’s The Burning World, From the Caves is about persistence in the face of collapse and disaster, the roles we fall into in relation to one another, and how we rise to meet new roles when necessity demands. An oddly hopeful yet quietly brutal book about living past the end of the world.”—Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell

From the Caves is a striking, suspenseful novella about calamity, transformation, and the stories we tell to keep ourselves alive. Thea Prieto’s haunting vision resonates evocatively with our own present and future on an imperiled Earth.”—Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

“From the Caves shows us our past and our future in the same breath. Guiding us on a compelling exploration of the endurance of artefact, the tradition of storytelling, and the impermanence of the human body, Prieto is a writer to be reckoned with.”—Lily Brooks-Dalton, author of Good Morning, Midnight

“Luminous. Powerful. Transcendent.”—Michael Kaufman, The Last Resort



FROM THE CAVES reviewed in The Rupture!

The cover art of Thea Prieto’s debut novella coupled with its title, From the Caves, invited this reviewer immediately to consider Plato’s famed Allegory of the Cave. Plato’s fire, however, […]