Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Adam McOmber  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1975 Van Wert, Ohio


-- Website -- http://adammcomber.com
-- Adam McOmber on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=adam++mcomber


Illinois Connection

McOmber teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Adam McOmber is the Assistant Director of the Creative Nonfiction program at Columbia College, where he teaches both creative nonfiction and mythology, and the associate editor of the college’s literary magazine ''Hotel Amerika''. His first book, the short story collection “This New and Poisonous Air,” received nominations for 2012 Pushcart Prizes and Best American Fantasy. His second book is the novel, “The White Forest,” which features a protagonist who can see the souls of objects.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

This New & Poisonous Air (American Readers Series)
ISBN: 1934414514

BOA Editions Ltd.. 2011

She admits she is pleased when the new placard is raised, "Madame Tussaud's House of Wax." She stands in the crowd with Franois at her side. He leans close enough to touch her ear with the fringe of his mustache and whispers, "What part of the museum would the famous Madame Tussaud like to survey on her inaugural visit?"

"The Chamber of Horrors, I think," she says softly.

"Really, my dear? All that grim fantasy and blood?"

"There is no fantasy about it, Franois. It is an embryo, a showing of what is to come."

Blending historical fiction with fantasy and the macabre, Adam McOmber's debut short story collection brings the influence of Angela Carter, Isak Dinesen, and Edgar Allan Poe to the next generation. In "The Automatic Garden," a solitary architect from the court at Versailles builds a water-powered pleasure garden

in "There Are No Bodies Such as This," we read a haunted and romantic fiction about the creation of Madame Tussaud's wax museum

in "Fall, Orpheum," a small town movie palace becomes the temple for an entire town's devotion and sacrifice. McOmber seamlessly blends history, artifice, and desire to create a dream of the past that intertwines with our own notions of modern life.

Adam McOmber's stories appear in Conjunctions, StoryQuarterly, Third Coast, The Greensboro Review, Arts & Letters, and Quarterly West. He is assistant director of creative nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and associate editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika.

The White Forest: A Novel
ISBN: 1451664257

Touchstone. 2012

In the bestselling tradition of The Night Circus and Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger, Adam McOmber’s hauntingly original debut novel follows a young woman in Victorian England whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society.

In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.


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