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The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

Andrew Joseph White: Horror’s New, Young, and Terrifying Voice

Through all of the blood and guts of his work, White hopes for a better world

The thing that surprises most people about Andrew Joseph White is that this New York Times Bestselling Author graduated from college the same year he published his shocking and incredible debut novel, Hell Followed With Us. The 25 year old Virginia native graduated from GMU with a MFA in Creative Writing in 2022 and this young author has been on a roll since. 


White’s style can best be described on his website and his social media bios, he “writes about trans folks with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back”. White, who identifies as queer and transgender, has been publishing his writing since 2018. 2022’s Hell Followed With Us was his first novel and follows a young trans boy named Benji who is on the run from the fundamentalist cult that raised him and decimated humanity. He finds his place in a community of queer teen survivors and grapples with both trying to stay hidden from the cult and dealing with the bioweapon that he has been infected with. The novel is full of a diverse group of characters, political themes that are incredibly relevant right now, and of course, lots of violence and monsters. 


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Hell Followed With Us was a massive hit, Publishers Weekly described it as “This debut is a moving and timely tale of queer perseverance, offering hope for those fighting for the right to exist without apology”. White’s newest novel, The Spirit Bears Its Teeth, takes us into an even more haunted Victorian England and follows a violet eyed autistic trans boy named Silas who is sent to all-female boarding school and begins to commune with ghosts and discovers a horrific truth. White has two more novels coming out in the next two years and even though it’s only been a few days since The Spirit Bears Its Teeth came out, it’s already got rave reviews. 


So what makes Andrew Joseph White so special? There’s a lot, diversity is of major importance to White, who has frequently stated in interviews the importance of marginalized voices in the neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ community being shown. Almost all of the protagonists are of those communities and their existence has an immense authenticity to it. White’s willingness to give a voice to the marginalized and allowing that voice to be filtered through the lens of shocking horror is something that’s still very new. It allows a sort of depth to issues like transphobia and ableism that hasn’t been seen. You feel the rage fall off of his well crafted words and detailed horror, it’s new and it may be scary and shocking, but there’s something fascinating and electric about it too. 

Through all of the blood and guts of his work, White hopes for a better world. A world where marginalized folks are not subject to the evils of the world. There is always an underlying feeling of love and community that is important in his work. Benji at the end of Hell Followed With Us finds hope, love, and friends after all that has happened to him during the novel. White said it best when he told the School Library Journal “I’m blessed to be an author. I hope my work helps kids untangle themselves. I hope it inspires them to discover all the parts of themselves the world hasn’t made space for yet. I hope they have an easier time of it than I did.”

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