RR 2017 THE ENCHANTED: About the Book

The Enchanted is a magical novel about redemption, the poetry that can exist within the unfathomable, and the human capacity to transcend even the most nightmarish reality. It is a reminder of how our humanity connects us all.


The author of The Enchanted, Rene Denfeld, will be in residence doing readings, book signings and other appearances at local libraries, colleges and senior centers throughout Rochester and the surrounding region March 29 through March 31, 2017.


Praise for The Enchanted

The Enchanted is a book like no other … With Denfeld’s spare, quiet prose, it is one of the most gorgeous and stunning things I have ever read … The Enchanted will break your heart but will also knit it back together.”
   —Powell’s Staff Pick

“A striking one-of-a-kind prison novel [with] rich, haunting prose … A stunning first novel from an already accomplished writer.”
   —Publishers Weekly

The Enchanted wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last. A wondrous book that finds transcendence in the most unlikely of places, enshrouding horrible things in a gossamer veil of fantasy with a truly unforgettable narrator. So dark yet so exquisite.”
   —Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus

“[An] evocative first novel … Denfeld’s humanizing of the potential for horror that is within all of us and her insistence that the reader see the beauty in the darkest corners of life sizzles through her sharp prose, which both makes us flinch and invites us to imagine.”

“Rene Denfeld is a genius. In The Enchanted, she has imagined one of the grimmest settings in the world—a dank and filthy death row in a corrupt prison—and given us one of the most beautiful, heart-rending, and riveting novels I have ever read.”
   —Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time

The Enchanted is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Its exquisitely constructed web is spun in that least exquisite locale, Death Row. The powerful central story arches over multiple, piercing sub-plots, and devastating fables that stare straight into the face of horror. But it is the opposite of depressing; it’s a jubilant celebration that explores human darkness with a profound lyric tenderness and not one jot of sentimentality. It’s probably mad to perceive and convey so much beauty in the midst of the vile, but this particular lunacy is contagious and seductive. The reader comes to see through Denfeld’s strange lens, and to savor the richness of the view long after the final page has turned.”
   —Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

The Enchanted is indeed both a beautiful and a painful read, one that explores the complexities of many crucial issues, including how we treat our children and the vulnerable and the consequences of our actions. It also makes us ask whether our personal behavior, social policies, and the justice system perpetuate more pain than otherwise for humanity.”
   —New York Journal of Books

“Denfeld has done a wondrous job of taking us into the gruesomeness of death row and giving us the visual tour through the eyes of one who has been able to find the beauty inside … If you enjoy mystery and suspense as well as a bit of magic and horror you will find it all here. The story is enthralling and keeps you reading far into the night. This would be a great book for a discussion group and create a great deal of argument and buzz, rounding out the feeling and thoughts of all those involved.”
   —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Enchanted is pure. It’s fresh and unlike anything out in the literary world.”
   —Book People

The Enchanted is … a testament to the power of words, of language and symbols to reshape one’s reality, and it is an extraordinarily empathetic look at the sorrows and joys of even the worst aspects of human life.”
   —The Oregonian

“Read this magical book, and prepare to be spellbound.”
   —Library Journal (starred review)


The Enchanted Awards & Prizes

Winner of the French Prix award

#1 Book of the Year: the Oregonian

Finalist for the 2014 Flaherty First Novel Prize

Texas Lariat List

Top #5 Books of the Year: Powell’s Books

Indie Next Pick

Amazon Book of the Month

ALA Notable Book Award for Excellence in Fiction

Goodread’s Readers Choice finalist best novel

Foyles Best of 2014

Harper Collins Canada #1 Fan Choice

Books of the Year, Lovereading UK

Waterstones Book Club Pick

Longlist for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

IMPAC longlist International Dublin Literary Award

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