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May 4, 2023

Literature Professor Publishes Second Novel

Caroline Hagood
Caroline Hagood

Earlier this week, MadHat Press released Filthy Creation, the latest novel by Caroline Hagood, assistant professor of literature, writing and publishing, M.F.A. faculty member and director of undergraduate writing at St. Francis College (SFC).

In Filthy Creation, Dylan, the novel’s young protagonist, makes sense of her world through art. A teenage aspiring artist who often lights her artwork on fire as a coping mechanism, she loses her father to a terminal illness, but not before he reveals a long-held secret that propels Dylan on a quest for the truth. Set in Brooklyn, Filthy Creation is equal parts mystery, meditation on art and love story.

“It was so much fun writing this book while working with my very inspiring SFC colleagues and students in both the literature, writing and publishing and M.F.A. programs,” Hagood acknowledged. “Any time I would feel blocked, a student would write something in one of my classes that reminded me what writing is all about, why we do it in the first place and how it can help someone else without the author even knowing it.”

Hagood’s debut novel, Ghosts of America, was published in 2021. In addition, she is the author of two poetry books as well as the book-length essays Ways of Looking at a Woman and Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster.

Praise for Filthy Creation
“It’s a shame Mary Shelley isn’t around to offer a blurb for this tender, luminous portrait of the art monster as a modern teen. Filthy Creation has so much to say about art, gender, loss and broken dreams. It’s also a triumphant coming-of-age page-turner whose young heroine grabs your heart from the first page and never lets go.” —James Tate Hill, author of Blind Man’s Bluff

“An allusion-heavy story that’s ultimately compelling and absorbing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“If, as the poet Rilke noted, beauty is the beginning of a terror we are only just able to bear, Caroline Hagood’s novel Filthy Creation shows us how to bear it. Continuing the investigation into monsters, misfits and trauma that she launched with her brilliant book-length essay, Weird Girls: Writing the Art Monster, Hagood brings Dr. Frankenstein and his creation together in the form of a visionary young woman named Dylan who is one-third pyromaniac, one-third Picasso and one-third Poirot.” —Sharon Mesmer, author of Greetings from My Girlie Leisure Place

Filthy Creation
Cover of Hagood's recently published novel

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