By 1927 there were twelve girls who danced all night and never gave names, but by then the men had given up asking and called them all Princess.

“Hey, Princess, dust off your shoes? It’s Charleston!”

The men would have called them anything they wanted to be called, Dollface or Queenie or Beloved, just to get one girl on the dance floor for a song. But in that flurry of short dresses and white skin and ribbon-tied shoes, Princess was the name that suited; it seemed magical enough, like maybe it was true.

Wild things, these girls; wild for dancing. They could go all night without sitting, grabbing at champagne between songs, running
to the throng at the table and saying something that made them all laugh, light and low together like the parts of a chorus.

It wasn’t right, all those women sticking together so close. Something about the wall of bob-haired girls scared the men,
though they hardly knew it. They just knew they’d better dance their best with a Princess, and no mistake.

SUMMER READING SELECTION: Buzzfeed, Bookish, and The LA Times


NPR: “But even more than the characters, their voices or the sharp, quiet slicing of the understated prose, what I loved about this book was its own tense dance with its source materials.”

NAMED A BEST READ OF THE YEAR: Washington Post, Chicago Tribune,

The Washington Post: “Genevieve Valentine weaves a mesmerizing, surreal retelling of ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’.”

RT BOOK REVIEWS: “Valentine’s creative retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is as vibrant and colorful as the era — so evocative, well drawn, well cast and well played that readers will be enthralled.”

HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY: “Valentine’s novel has glamour in spades, evocative of the Jazz Age’s fashions and dance crazes and the dark side of prohibition.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “As sharp, sophisticated and refreshing as a flute of champagne, Genevieve Valentine’s The Girls at the Kingfisher Club will make you want to strap on dancing shoes and find an all-night speakeasy to call your own.”

Locus: “…a haunting fable that reads like a dream of forgotten history.”


Interview at BOOKISH



The Girls at The Kingfisher Club has a website, thanks to the awesome people at Atria. Visit there for an excerpt from the novel, some kind words from other writers, and a playlist of novel-relevant Twenties music I put together, that was a mix-tape exercise in reminding me I am swiftly being outpaced by technology and will soon be unable to navigate any software whatsoever! It was an epiphany that led to a playlist made up of about 33% song titles that are actually questions, and 110% the creeping dread of my oncoming obsolescence.


Where to Buy

You can order The Girls at the Kingfisher Club at:



Barnes & Noble (Print and Nook editions available)


It’s also available from Amazon and other retailers.

Recent Work

TV Recaps: Elementary, Season 5

TV Recaps: Victoria, Season 1

TV Recaps: Reign, Season 4

TV Recap: Bates Motel, "Hidden"

Fiction: "Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home", Clarkesworld

Film: How many movies about grief this year? All of them,

Book Review: HIGH NOON: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic,

Book Review: How to Read a Dress,

Nonfiction: A Doom of One's Own, Clarkesworld

Genevieve on Tumblr

  • Whether you will, or no

    I wrote a piece for VICE about consent as fantasy element in the 18th-century “Beauty and the Beast,” and a little about what happens to the shape of the tale when a retelling (say, I dunno, Disney) alters those elements: “How Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Became the Darkest Tale of All.“

    An excerpt:

    The most powerful force in Beauty and the Beast isn’t magic, or even love, but consent. Most retellings of Villeneuve’s version are careful to keep it. The Beast is clear that Beauty must know what she’s getting into. (In Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s 1910 version, it’s still more explicit: The Beast warns Beauty’s father to “be honest with your daughter. Describe me to her just as I am. Let her be free to choose whether she will come or no…”) Later, the Beast asks Beauty herself if she comes willingly. And that first dinner is marked by the Beast’s deference to her wishes. Beauty’s earliest surprise is how much power she wields. Even in his nightly request that Beauty marry him, he defers. Andrew Lang emphasized the power dynamics in 1889’s Blue Fairy Book:

    “Oh! What shall I say?” cried Beauty, for she was afraid to make the Beast angry by refusing.
    “Say 'yes’ or 'no’ without fear,” he replied.
    “Oh! No, Beast,” said Beauty hastily
    “Since you will not, good-night, Beauty,” he said.
    And she answered, “Good-night, Beast,” very glad to find that her refusal had not provoked him.

    Lang was one of many who used marriage proposals for the nightly request (Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 1756 retelling was the first), but Villeneuve was under no illusions about the story’s undertones. In her original, Beast asks Beauty to sleep with him. Beauty’s power is the ability to withhold sexual consent.

    [Full article]


2016 Appearances

Emerald City Comicon
April 7-10, 2016
Seattle, WA

Kent State Wonder Woman Symposium
September 23-24, 2016
Cleveland, OH

New York Comic Con
October 5-9, 2016
New York City

World Fantasy Convention
October 28-30
Columbus, OH