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.

All Books

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


Electric Lit’s BOOKTAILS creates mocktail for Thea Prieto’s FROM THE CAVES!

Curl up with a cocktail and Thea Prieto’s “From The Caves,” and walk the line between truth and myth, story and identity SEP 16, 2022 LINDSAY MERBAUM Winner of the Red Hen Press Novella Award, Thea Prieto’s From the Caves, portrays a nightmarish future, where a dwindling number of humans reside naked in caves, trapped between […]

Thea Prieto, author of FROM THE CAVES, will be at The Neverending Bookshop!

The Neverending Bookshop is thrilled to host local author Thea Prieto and her book “From the Caves”. Set in an environmental apocalypse, this lovely book follows four characters as they survive through the catastrophe in a cave. Thea will discuss her book, do a reading, and answer questions. For more information about Thea and her […]

Hasty Book List Interviews Thea Prieto, Author of FROM THE CAVES!

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 […]

Thea Prieto, author of FROM THE CAVES, interview featured in Heavy Feather Review!

Thea Prieto’s debut From the Caves, winner of the Red Hen Novella Award, contains an entire post-apocalyptic world that is both empty and claustrophobic. In the core days of a blazing summer, four people fight for survival with only each other and their storytelling to drive them forward. Resources are catastrophically limited; the world is […]

Thea Prieto Describes the Writing Process of FROM THE CAVES in the Kenyon Review!

Jeff Alessandrelli-With the Covid-19 pandemic, there have obviously been dozens of books that haven’t received the shine they might have under normal circumstances. One new release that I hope gets all the attention and more is Thea Prieto’s novella From the Caves, winner of the Red Hen Press Novella Award. From the Caves exists in an ethereal place, […]

Thea Prieto (FROM THE CAVES) writes article for Poets & Writers!

For the past decade an international community of women and nonbinary writers have been working to claim space for themselves in an industry historically dominated by men. Known as Women Who Submit (WWS), the group supports and empowers its members to submit their work in spite of publishing’s inequities. Their achievements have been extraordinary: This […]


EcoLit Books Reviews Thea Prieto’s FROM THE CAVES!

The end of the world is not for the faint of heart, and neither is Thea Prieto’s bold and beautiful novella about four humans pushed to the limits of climate catastrophe. Echoing the style of myths and examining the power of storytelling, From the Caves is about Sky, a young man coming of age and learning how […]

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, is a projector of shadows, a dim replacement of the sun, while Prieto’s is so much more. The fires of From the Caves are creatures […]

Thea Prieto’s FROM THE CAVES is a staff pick at Bear Pond Books!

A fantastic novella of literary merit about a small family living in a cave after the climate apocalypse. Told in language that sings from the point of view of Sky, the youngest member who learns that responsibility is as necessary as the stories they tell each other to survive. The book is dark and bleak […]

FROM THE CAVES by Thea Prieto reviewed in Diagram 21.5!

Being an elder millennial (see: I refuse to use the term ‘geriatric’), I’ve come to accept that I no longer know any of the cool lingo that the kids these days use. That said, the first thing that comes to mind when reading Thea Prieto’s From the Caves is that it gives off “major A24 […]

FROM THE CAVES by Thea Prieto reviewed in Publishers Weekly!

In Prieto’s trenchant debut, the survivors of an apocalypse navigate a scorched land full of desolation and desperation. Among the enigmatic cast is Mark, a bossy young man; Tie, a compassionate pregnant woman; Teller, a wise old man with a limp; and Sky, an impressionable eight-year-old mourning the death of Green, formerly his mentor and […]