The Drowned Woman

By Abigail Stewart


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Jeanette, a graduate student on scholarship and majoring in art history, arrives on the West Coast intending to be embraced by endless sunshine. She finds comfort in her studies and in her new apartment, drinking cheap Scotch and enjoying casual hookups.

From her youth slowly emerges a many-veiled seductive dance that begins in the carnal and veers toward the reluctantly domestic, before ultimately descending, as they do, into the maternal. Fueled by anger alone, Jeanette plies her own orbit, determined to reclaim her life.

With nods to the psychoanalytic works of Louise Bourgeois, The Drowned Woman explores the collision of the tender and the violent, and the brand of survival instincts unique to women artists.

Jan 2024: AUDIOBOOK NEWS! Preorder the audio release of THE DROWNED WOMAN on audio, narrated by Whiskey Tit publisher Miette Gillette, to be released later in January 2024. Preorders keep the lights on and the Vitamin D supplements stocked during these dreary winter months, so if you like this little teaser, let us know with a wave of your wallet.  Here’s a tiny sample.

Additional information


Audiobook, Paperback


ISBN: 978-1-952600-13-5

Publication date: 05 May 2022

Paperback price: 16


“The Drowned Woman has the gothic stylings of Barbara Comyns and the emotional register of a black-and-white film, fresh yet remarkably vintage. A stoic, dazzling debut."

– Tucker Leighty-Phillips, Hayden's Ferry Review

The Drowned Woman is a powerful and tender exploration of a woman trapped in a life she did not choose—but also incidentally did. Abigail Stewart’s astute and wry novel incisively explores the ways a woman, and an artist, is always becoming. And how she might defy expectation and forge her own way.

– Natalie Bakopoulos, author of Scorpionfish

These characters were written like tropes because author Abigail Stewart set out to dissect them as such. This story was familiar very much on purpose. Bravely so, in fact. And by zooming out, and appreciating it through a more historical/formalist lens (a tactic very much encouraged by Jeanette's studied analyses of classical art, and Stewart's own impassioned writing about same), The Drowned Woman quickly accumulated a weight and depth which far outstripped its surface narrative.

David Fitzgerald, author of Troll

Abigail Stewart’s The Drowned Woman is a bright spark of a novella that explores one young woman’s winding path from the realm of academia into the art world as she chooses to pursue her true passions. Before the story’s end, Jeanette will be confronted firsthand by the very same challenges that so often plagued the female artists she studied in school: the question of motherhood and the difficulties of creating art under the persistent male gaze.

– Abigail Oswald, Write or Die Tribe