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Winner of the

BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize

In the stories of Exile in Guyville, probable futures and alternate realities take aim at unruly women, and show how they refuse to be ruled. With a speculative and surreal style, Amy Lee Lillard’s prize-winning collection explores a living museum of women from across time; a life app that forces women to comply with beauty standards; a future internment camp with a literal race for survival; and a band of middle-aged Riot Grrrls, taking vengeance with a new power. With humor, rage, and a razor-sharp eye for detail, Exile in Guyville renders the invisible as seen, and the powerless as empowered.

Available now!

“Each of these six enthralling speculative shorts from Lillard (Dig Me Out) explores female agency to powerful effect...Brief but mighty, this packs a hefty punch.”
Publisher's Weekly
(Starred Review)

“Within its compact length of six stories, Amy Lee Lillard’s collection Exile in Guyville packs a major punch with its hard-
hitting science fiction that centers women’s perspectives. Sometimes darkly humorous and sometimes just plain dark,
it troubles what-if scenarios in stylish, visceral, and often witty prose.”

Foreward Reviews

(Starred review)

“This collection is explosive and inventive, balancing humor and horror as each story explores the ways in which women’s identities are built, broken, and rebuilt. I would happily be exiled with these complicated, stubborn, fierce, indomitable women!”

Gwen E. Kirby

Author of Shit Cassandra Saw

Exile in Guyville takes you on a deeply poetic journey of women in exile. Women out of time, women out of place, women out of their minds, and women out of luck leap from this haunting, beautiful, slender short story collection that stays with you long after you close the book. This is a terrific collection of sneakily powerful writing and an unfettered, wild imagination.”

Chelsea G. Summers

Author of A Certain Hunger


From University of Iowa Press

At the age of forty-three, after discovering she was autistic, Amy Lee Lillard learned she was part of a community of unseen women who fell through the gaps due to medical bias and social stereotypes. And she learned that her brash and trashy family of women, purveyors of dirty jokes, dirty pictures, and dirty shame, may have broken under the weight of invisible disability.


A Grotesque Animal explores the making, unmaking, and making again of a woman with invisible and unknown disability and a working-class background. And Lillard uncovers what it means to be a disabled slut, a queer aging woman, a descendent of wild but tamed mothers, and a survivor of the things patriarchy does.

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"This is a book that bares both teeth and soul. A bold and unabashed call to name our stories and ourselves, to take off the masks we’ve been taught to wear and live without shame. A book for the weird women—the queer women, the disabled women, the childfree and witchy women, who resist and refuse the narratives they’re given about what their bodies should be, who write their own stories, and who claim a new language for their lives."

Melissa Faliveno

Author of Tomboyland

"This striking memoir sheds light on a topic that has been hidden for too long: the challenges and triumphs of girls and women with Autism. At a time when growing numbers of women are receiving this diagnosis at mid-life, Lillard offers clarity, hope, and companionship to those faced with re-learning who they are and what matters most to them."
Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

Author of The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World


From Atelier26 Books

In this multilayered, provocative, and outrageously imaginative literary debut, ten deeply absorbing stories reveal the women who won’t smile. Angry, aching women react to the dismissal of their most secret or beloved needs and desires, and return to base instincts, primal fears, and mythic power. Across past, present, and future, around the Midwest and the world, these women demand we witness as they work to break through, to defy, to become. It won’t be pretty, and it won’t be safe, but it will be real.

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Dig Me Out-cvr.jpg

“Damn! I'm jealous of the sheer brio and adventuresomeness of these stories -- Amy Lee Lillard's willingness to try on different forms, genders, identities, and voices in the service of dark truths. This is a firecracker debut with a rock n roll wildness at its heart.”

Karan Mahajan

Author of The Association of Small Bombs

“With spare and unassuming prose, Lillard has produced a radically profound and unforgettable story collection that upends received notions of femininity and storytelling.”

Jeannie Vanasco

Author of Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl

“A fierce reclamation of femininity, sexuality, and selfhood, Dig Me Out made me pump my own fist in the air, reminding me of all the lives we can find when we’re brave enough to dig.”

Melissa Faliveno

Author of Tomboyland

“A fierce debut collection inhabited by a wild multitude of characters. The women in Amy Lee Lillard’s stories catalogue the strangeness of the natural world, want to escape the confines of the body, seek revenge against convention, are witchy, feral, ready to tear free.”

Chanelle Benz

Author of The Gone Dead

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