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The Call Is Coming from Inside the House


224 pages
Ecw Press

From Allyson McOuat, author of the popular 2020 New York Times Modern Love essay “The Ghost Was the Least of Our Problems,” comes her debut essay collection

In a series of intimate and humorous dispatches, McOuat examines her identity as a queer woman, and as a mother, through the lens of the pop culture moments in the ’80s and ’90s that molded her identity. McOuat stirs the ingredients required to conjure an unsettled spirit: the horrors of pregnancy and motherhood, love and loss, the supernatural, kaleidoscopic sexuality, near-miss experiences, and the unexplained moments in life that leave you haunted.

Through her own life experiences, various tall tales, urban legends, analysis of horror and thriller films, and spine-chilling true crime incidents, McOuat uncovers how cultural gatekeeping has forced her, as a mother and queer femme woman, to persistently question her own reality. Through this charming and humorous exploration of what moments have made her who she is, McOuat demonstrates for readers a way through by forgiving herself and exorcising her stubborn attachment to a phantom, heteronormative, nuclear family structure.

Author Bio

Allyson McOuat (she/her) is a queer writer from Toronto who has been published in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, Broadview Magazine, and Plenitude Magazine. McOuat’s Modern Love essay was adapted for television by Modern Love Amsterdam on Amazon Prime. She is a mom of two amazing daughters.