“A towering work of historical fiction”

     praise for The Worming of America

OmniVerse Book Review by Ariana Nevarez


“The last paragraph of the introduction to the book notes that “The Worming of America: Or An Answer to the Arraignment of Women is not just for the literate, but for the illiterate. Non-English readers are not excluded either, as all of Autumn Leaf’s original illustrations are included in this printing and they alone express and describe the novel in an universal visual language” (x). I was struck by this statement and made it a point to review and meditate on the illustrations in the book before going on to read it. These meditations revealed a story of the Haves vs. the Have-nots, of being an outsider, of power, and of fear. A story of people hanging on for dear life and being hung in theft of it. A story of monsters made up by humans and a humanity made up of monsters.”

“Autumn Leaf’s prose feels like a Shakespearean play that could be adapted for and performed in any part of American history.”

“At it’s core The Worming of America is a book about feminist ideas. Feminist—as defined by Autumn Leaf—is a“polite word for an adultress and/or an anarchist in a dress. And, perchance, self-actualized, these savages in skirts will evolve into grand prophetesses or profound artists””(231)



Midwest Book Reviews by Dr. Ketaki Datta


“I did not have to read the book, the book made me read itself, that too in bated breath. And, to my utter amazement, I could not stop till I finished it, in just seven days. And I was left with a feeling of perturbation, mingled with a heretofore-unknown feeling of seeing a different history unfolding before my eyes, before my sensibilities, in hurried succession.”

“The wonderful, smooth, easy-flowing narrative makes this book a delightful read.”


Heavy Feather Book Review by Tom Griffen


“The Worming of America questions what it means to be alive. To be human. To be a woman. It challenges Christian doctrine. Interrogates paradigmatic beliefs. It hearkens back to Jane Anger’s scathing defense against the preponderance of male supremacy, Her Protection For Women (1589), an early catalyst for feminist consciousness. The Worming of America channels 500 years of exasperated female voices. A surrogate fiction meant to highlight our nation’s disregard for the other. A negligence remaining all-too-familiar today.”

“The story of America’s worming is a narrative of menace, exposure, and crisis. A record of the dangers of assimilation. Of outspokenness. Of ignoring what’s actually happening. Page 287 is blank except for one centered word at the foot which says, “Nothing.” This serves as the thematic precursor to the concluding image—a woman swinging by a noose around her neck. It is captioned, “The Boston Ballet””



After Ellen Book Review by Claire Heuchan 


“A Towering Work of Historical Fiction.”

“The book makes use of a novel conceit. Our first narrator is an amateur historian who came across Autumn’s diaries in 1987. The second is an academic who agrees to review the manuscript to please his lover. In this way, Worming of America blurs the lines between fact and fiction to create an alternative history – one in which women’s voices are heard.”

“A hardback of 318 pages, this is a long read. Yet – although Worming of America is set in Boston during 1650 – the language is modern and engaging. Worming of America is never more beautiful than when Autumn speaks of the world around her. Rich descriptions of woodland creatures and landscapes bring Autumn’s world to life.”

“Worming of America is an innovative book. Within Autumn’s story is a reimagined history and intriguing theological tract. Though the real-life Susanna Hutchinson died over 500 years ago, this exploration of faith and belonging will resonate with many a modern-day reader.”

“Worming of America raises important questions about how civilization is defined, who belongs in society, and the role of faith in a community. It is a book about the cost of fitting in, and the dangers of standing out.”