Profile of Jedediah Berry

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Jedediah Berry was raised in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. His first novel, The Manual of Detection, won the William L. Crawford Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New American Voices and Best American Fantasy. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and works as editor at Small Beer Press.

“From the classic tropes of the detective procedural, this début novel weaves the kind of mannered fantasy that might result if Wes Anderson were to adapt Kafka…. [Berry creates] the feeling of inhabiting a strange and haunting dream, with its own persuasive logic and somnambulant pacing.” —The New Yorker  


“Surreal, absurd, and cerebral, full of sly humor and winks, this novel is meticulously written and plotted. Fans of George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and Jasper Fforde, take notice.” —The Boston Globe


“[Berry] defies many mystery-novel conventions, but adventurous readers who stay with his strange and fabulous debut work will be handsomely rewarded…The Manual of Detection might not follow the detective-fiction manual, but there is nothing mysterious about the appeal of this inventive, outrageous and often amusing dream-within-a-dream.” —The Wall Street Journal


"Twenty-Eight Scenes for Neglected Guests," Cape Cod Noir, June 2011.

"Ghost 7, Prince 9," Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2010-2011.

"Ourselves, Multiplied," Conjunctions, July 2009.

The Manual of Detection, February 2009 (The Penguin Press).

"Minus, His Heart," Chicago Review, October 2007; Best American Fantasy 2.

"The Other Labyrinth," The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds., July 2007 (Viking/Penguin).

"Inheritance," Fairy Tale Review, Green Issue, December 2006; Best New American Voices 2008, Richard Bausch, ed.

"To Measure the Earth," Salon Fantastique, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds., October 2006 (Thunder's Mouth).

"The Big Game," 3rd Bed #10.

"The Running of the Bulls," Red China #2.

"The Naming," Twelfth Street Review, Vol. 4, No. 1.

"Thumb War," Pindeldyboz.

"Selections from The Book of Beasts," La Petite Zine.


Kirkus Reviews
on "Inheritance"

A mordant, gripping fantasy about a suburban husband obliged to deal with his macho father's "legacy": a hirsute "beast" discovered in his cellar, which excites his neighbors' fears and his wife's protective fascination.