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Jeff VanderMeer Gives Us an Illustrated Interview

Jeff VanderMeer has been enchanting readers with his haunting prose for years. His novels often read like esoteric fever-dreams that you can barely escape from and in all honesty probably wouldn’t want to. Best known for his Southern Reach Trilogy–which began with Annihilation–VanderMeer is next turning his hand to young adult fiction. A Peculiar Peril centers around a young boy whose life is upended when he’s left a strange and magical mansion on the promise that he catalogs its contents. It’s a wicked read that features teen heroes, occult villains, talking animals, and alt-universes, all in VanderMeer’s unique style.

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

VanderMeer’s work has long inspired readers to think differently. And when I was putting together the questions for this unconventional interview I had to do the same. See, for out chat about A Peculiar Peril VanderMeer wanted questions that could inspire art. Because our conversation would be illustrated by the wonderful Las Vegas based artist Jeremy Zerfoss who worked with VanderMeer to create illustrations for the his first foray into young adult fiction. What you see in this piece are the original artworks inspired by our virtual conversation alongside the questions and answers.

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Expanding on the already established world of the Lambsheads included creating an entirely new world.


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A Peculiar Peril has a peculiar antagonist in an alt-universe reimagining of one of Britain’s most famed occultists.

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VanderMeer also has a message for his fans who might have reservations about picking up a YA novel.

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In A Peculiar Peril the Lambshead mansion becomes both the setting and inciting incident for Jonathan’s adventures.

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Of all the fantastical locations, there is one that stands out for the author.

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These gorgeous illustrated insights are the perfect introduction to the wild world of A Peculiar Peril. The novel opens up new worlds for readers and introduces a new hero for fans of fantasy. A Peculiar Peril also launches a new series for VanderMeer, The Misadventures of Jonathan Lambshead. So, if you’re a fan of his newest book you’ll be happy to know that you’ll be able to enjoy more stories from Aurora. A Peculiar Peril hits shelves on July 7th!

You can read all of these incredible illustrated images in our gallery below!

Header Image: Farrar, Straus and Giroux