Enter The Body

Now out in paperback, hardcover, and audiobook

“By innovatively mining feminist themes of autonomy, exploitation, and patriarchy, McCullough boldly reconceptualizes Shakespeare’s version of the female point of view for a new generation of Bard enthusiasts.”—The Horn Book, starred review

“Form as a mode of personal expression is conscious, deliberate, and stunningly effective here and elevates this novel above and beyond many run-of-the-mill Shakespeare retellings to a carefully constructed and emotionally resonant consideration of tragedy and autonomy…. This will be a revelation for teens seeking to claim their own narrative as a distinct and whole person outside of adult or societal input.”—BCCB, starred review

 “A strong, powerful look at the bonds women share and the power telling stories has to unburden us all.”—SLC, starred review

Body turns Shakespeare on his head while honoring his talent as the girls retells their stories on their own terms…. Truly outstanding.”—Booklist, starred review

 “This entrancing, fiercely feminist examination of William Shakespeare’s tragedies gives his female characters the opportunity to tell their own stories.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Elevates and reenergizes the canon; it’s an absolute must-read regardless of readers’ knowledge or opinion of Shakespeare.”—SLJ, starred review

“Radically creative… This provocative book could inspire all kinds of fresh approaches to the plays, not to mention lots of engaging writing projects for students.”—Washington Post


A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A BCCB Best Book of the Year

CCBC Choices book list
Rise Feminist Book Project  list


In the room beneath a stage’s trapdoor, all of Shakespeare’s tragically dead teenage girls—Juliet, Ophelia, Cordelia, and others—compare their experiences and retell the stories of their lives in their own terms.

Enter the Body gives voice to a cast of the young women who die in Shakespeare’s most iconic plays. Focusing on the stories of Juliet, Ophelia, and Cordelia, bestselling author of Blood Water Paint Joy McCullough brilliantly weaves retellings of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear into a larger story about how young women can support each other in the aftermath of trauma.