The Boughs Withered is the debut collection from accomplished Irish author Maura McHugh. It includes twenty tales – four of them original to the volume – which represent the best strange visions from an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction, comic books and plays. Among the featured stories is "Bone Mother", which was adapted into the award-winning stop-motion animated short film by See Creature in Canada.
In her horror and dark fantasy stories, Maura McHugh explores her love of the uncanny, delves into the eerie past, and evokes weird landscapes that might just co-exist with our own.
"Beautifully observed and incisively written. McHugh's stories are full of surprising vistas and unsettling shifts of perspective." – Mike Carey (author of The Girl With All the Gifts)
"These stories [are] made to last, reaching deep into myth-pools for eternal, primal treasures." – Kim Newman (author of Anno Dracula)
“Maura McHugh’s gloriously twisted, tale-spinning imagination entwines and embraces the reader like dark ivy.” – Ian R. MacLeod (Clarke Award-winning author of Song of Time)
"Maura McHugh’s stories are hugely enjoyable. Her insight and compassion, combined with a fresh, engaging voice, make her monsters, marvels and myths stand out in a crowded field." – Lisa Tuttle (Nebula Award-winning author of The Bone Flute)
"Hauntings, dark pacts and ancient gods are brought into the here and now by Maura McHugh's peculiar magic." – Priya Sharma (author of All the Fabulous Beasts)
1. Introduction by Kim Newman
3. Who Hears Our Cries in Forgotten Tongues?
4. The Boughs Withered When I Told Them My Dreams
5. The Light at the Centre
6. A Rebellious House
7. Beautiful Calamity
9. Moments on the Cliff
10. The Gift of the Sea
12. The Tamga
13. Spooky Girl
14. The Hanging Tree
15. The Diet
16. Involuntary Muscle
18. Wake the Dead
20. Bone Mother
22. Author’s Afterword
Available as a paperback and a numbered limited hardback edition signed by the author.