"Paper Tigers is full of hauntings of every sort, a modern ghost story of the very best kind, combining the delicate mania of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the subtlety of Shirley Jackson and the raw dynamism of Joyce Carol Oates. But what Walters delivers here is thoroughly her own creation: a starkly beautiful tale of what it means to survive."
—Helen Marshall, author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After
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A terrible fire left Alison Reese disfigured and afraid to show her face; she hides her scars from the world, ventures outside only beneath the cover of night. When she purchases an old photo album from a curio shop, Alison is pulled into its pages, into a world of parties and laughter, where she is whole. A cast of regal men and women lure her deeper and deeper within their world. She slowly falls under the spell and glamour of this perfect place, where her scars and burns are distant memories.
But things are not what they seem. Every time Alison returns to the real world, her scars disappear—at least until she falls asleep. Still, she is compelled to return again and again, and each time, it’s more difficult to leave. Until the night she can’t. The façade of the paper world fades, leaving her in a house of decay and imprisoned ghosts. And even as she tries to fight her way out, it’s clear the world she’s fallen into has other plans.
“With Paper Tigers, Damien Angelica Walters has created a hauntingly elegant portrait of loneliness and longing for healing. But where she confronts real terror is in answering the question of what it costs the wounded to be whole again. This book is at once as beautiful and frightening as a scar on smooth skin or a scream with perfect pitch.”
—Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home and Stranded