Caitlin R. Kiernan has been notable in my reading life since I started following her in 2002. Her work is harrowing, poetic, and weighted with not only the emotion of her protagonists now, but also the huge emotionless force, the weight, of all of the time that has passed on our planet before her protagonists showed up. She's a scientist turned author, someone who's studied the world through the cosmic filter of Deep Time -- she was a paleontologist specializing in mosasaurs, which existed in oceans in the same ages as the dinosaurs -- and the still-more-cosmic filter of authors of the fantastic. H.P. Lovecraft is one of her strongest influences, but Kiernan brings to her Lovecraft-influenced work more of a compassion for the people who must deal with, live with, and die with those forces. Her 2009 novel The Red Tree knocked me out in the best way: I read it, then re-read it immediately to again get the feeling of her characters, who must deal with a situation that is impossible in more ways than one. (This is how I felt at the time, in my review.)
The Drowning Girl: A Memoir is her latest novel -- officially released Tuesday, but which has shown up in some bookstores already. No less a word appreciator than Peter Straub -- Ghost Story/The Talisman Peter Straub -- has called The Drowning Girl "a masterpiece." Soon I'll get to see how this book affects me, but as Caitlin R. Kiernan usually affects me, I think I will like and appreciate what she's done with this book.
The above Drowning Girl trailer, also embedded at Kiernan's website, is the work of Caitlin as director, videographer (and LJ friend of mine) briansiano, photographer kylecassidy, and many others; Kiernan thanks them here.