Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother's schizophrenia and her own mental illness. 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. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama. The problem is that in the process of daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart. Spanning the course of Fig's childhood from age 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 was selected as one of NPR's Best Books of 2015 and won the 2016 Colorado Book Award in the Young Adult category.
Here is the official book trailer for Fig: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=hScFiRiL3nM&feature=youtu.be.
"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
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.