The Crane Husband: A movingly dark and vividly written fable for contemporary times

The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill’s novella The Crane Husband is a darkly grim reimagining of and response to the Crane Wife folktale. A tough read thanks to its bleak near-future setting and dark focus on abuse and family dysfunction, and at times quite blunt in fable fashion, it’s also a rewarding read thanks to its lovely sparse language and strongly voiced narrator.

The story is set in the run-down and nearly abandoned rural Midwest, a few steps into the future where farmland is owned by a single far-away large conglomerate that raises monocultured,

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