Creeping out young adults: Barbara Stewart, “The In-Between”

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inbetween_375I’m happy that there is this relatively new genre of fiction devoted to young adults; at least until I try to figure out how old or young you have to be to fit this category.  I have a daughter who was a young adult at the age of seven when it came to her choice of reading material.  She loved C.S. Lewis, Salmon Rushdie, Mark Twain, and others.  There are works that have always appealed to particular age group.  Think of Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird.  But young adult fiction really came of age as a distinctive category and market with the Harry Potter series.  Now it is one of the most vibrant corners of contemporary literature.

Barbara Stewart is a native New Yorker.  She grew up in the Capital District, was educated at Siena College and left the state temporarily to earn an MFA at Wichita State University.  She lives down in the Catskills now.  I have known Barbara for over twenty years. I’ve been reading her short stories ever since she grudgingly shared the story cycle that she wrote in Kansas.  And I am a fan and admirer of her work regardless of its geographic origins.

The In-Between is a story told at the intersection of spirituality and medicine.  A young woman suffers head trauma in a terrible car accident. What unfolds next is a story located in a phantasmagoric realm that might be unconscious or it might be consciously uncanny.  The story is rooted in the young woman’s past, all the way into the womb.  Has the injury unleashed something from within, like a memory? Or has a door been open to an alternative dimension so that the dead may visit and even inhabit the living?  The reader will have to call upon their own mystical beliefs and faith in science to comprehend the action of this riveting novel.

The holidays are coming.  If you have a young adult in your life who loves scary movies, fantasy, science fiction, and romance, then Barbara Stewart’s The In-Between will be the perfect gift.  Better yet, if you love a young adult who has not discovered the love of reading, then The In-Between has the combination of great story and literary beauty to spark an affair.

Enjoy this interview!

A conversation with young adult author Barabara Stewart


  1. Mr. Wakiki says:

    without forethought

    it’s a donkey on a dream
    going to the moon
    and nowhere in between

    he said

    it was coated with malice
    and thought it was placed
    in print,

    meant for injury
    of one

    the comment ignored
    the insult

    not of the intended
    but where the shrapnel
    also splattered