Fig's world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy. But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. Fig begins a fierce battle to save Mama. She knows that making daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day and avoiding water the next, is the only way to cure Mama. The problem is that in the process of making these sacrifices, Fig begins to lose herself as well. Spanning the course of Fig's childhood from ages six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary— thrown her way.
"Fig’s narration epitomizes showing without telling. From wildflowers to animals to the blooming blood of her self-inflicted injuries, everything Fig describes is wildly poetic and tender. Schantz’s exquisite prose brims with nature, blood, literary references and intense emotional silence . . . Achingly gorgeous."—Kirkus
Down in the Water
Schantz's chapbook Down in the Water comes out from Gesture Press December 11th, 2020. Originally published in 2017 by the online journal The Adirondack Review (when it won the Fulton Prize), the story/fairytale/prose-poem has found a corporeal form that is simultaneously an art object with its lace spine and marbled paper (photography and illustrations by Caitlin Alesandra), no two are exactly alike.
Schantz was one of several writers published in the anthology, Modern Grimmoire: Contemporary Fairy Tales, Fables & Folkore (May 2013, Indigo Ink Press). Each featured writer was selected through a competition hosted by the publisher. Schantz's story, "Detours: A Suburban Fairy Tale," was one such finalist and is immortalized in both the hardcover edition and the Kindle (the link below takes you to the latter as the hardcover is more difficult to find). The story is an experimental reimagining of "Little Red Riding Hood" and entails a ritual sacrifice in the woods. In addition to the publication, Schantz performed this piece with Splintered Light Theatre (Andryn Arithson and Ember Forest Costner) in 2014 under the title Never Again the Same (a line from the story). The show was a symbiosis of storytelling and a specific shadow puppetry that uses unexpected objects such as Mason jars, broken glass, and lace to create a haunting visual narrative through the imagination of a scrim. Schantz and Fractured Light toured the piece at local playhouses and were invited to perform for the CU Theater Department.