Since the turn of the century, there has been an emergence of incredible, young women taking the literary world by storm. Take Zadie Smith, who finished the multi-award-winning White Teeth during her final year at university. Or Sally Rooney, author of lockdown 1.0 favourite Normal People, who wrote her debut novel, Conversations with Friends, while studying for her master’s degree.
Making these female authors look like late bloomers is Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik, who, at just 17, is publishing her first novel. Palvine, which will be published later this year, is a young-adult novel, following an unnamed narrator as she becomes involved with the titular Sylvester Spence Palvine, who has been wrongly assumed to be the perpetrator of a murderer- resulting in his two-year period of hiding. The novel’s themes of isolation feels particularly pertinent at the moment.
The novel initially started out as a short story, back when Mitzi was just 15. Mitzi frequently wrote and published short stories on the story sharing platform, Short Stories 101. There, she gained a loyal following of avid readers. The readers gave Mitzi live feedback as she drip-fed them the story in chapters. Her readers were honest, too- telling her that the story ended in an awkward place. Taking the feedback on board, Mitzi initially set out to add an additional chapter. Instead, she ended up writing three times more.
The resulting novel is distinctively gothic, and rich with literary references- demonstrating the author has a genuine love for literature. References include Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby- Mitzi’s favourite novel. The relationship between The Great Gatsby’s Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway also inspired the relationship between Sylvester and the narrator.
Beyond literature, Mitzi was also inspired by the island, its environment and architecture. Palvine is set on an unknown island in an unknown time period, however eagle-eyed Manxies will see the ways in which the island has inspired the book.
When she’s not writing stories, Mitzi is a sixth form student, studying a selection of essay based subjects- including, unsurprisingly, English literature. After a hard day of endless reading and writing, most students would want to do anything but write. Mitzi, however, finds writing “a release”: a way to channel her creativity.
After sixth form, Mitzi wants to enter university and continue writing. The publication of her first novel looks to be the first in an illustrious career, with Mitzi already working on her second novel.
Palvine will be printed later this year. Paper copies can be pre-ordered through Mitzi’s Instagram (mitzidanielsonkaslik) and digital copies will be sold through the LULU international website.