E. M. Carroll’s gothic horror A Guest in the House (First Second) was announced as the graphic novel category winner at the 44th annual LA Times Book Prize last week,  recognising outstanding literary work published in 2023.

The book follows a new spouse who stumbles upon the mystery concerning the deceased former partner of their husband. The selection committee of the LA Times Book Prize – which took place Friday, April 19 – described the book as:

“A fleshy, sensuous journey that pushes the limits of the medium in ways that only Carroll can. A skin-crawling gem, not to be missed.”

A Guest in the House beat a competitive group of finalists that included Derek M. Ballard’s Cartoonshow (Oni); Sammy Harkham’s Blood of the Virgin (Pantheon); Chantal Montellier’s Social Fiction (New York Review Comics); and CODA by Simon Spurrier & Matías Bergara (BOOM!).

Previously credited as Emily Carroll, E.M. Carroll’s 2023-published A Guest In The House is the first new work by the multi-award winning author since their 2018 adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); and 2019’s erotic horror graphic novella When I Arrived At The Castle, published by Silver Sprocket (after Koyama Press).

Here at The Beat, our own Zack Quaintance said in his October 2023 review of A Guest in the House:

A Guest In The House is, quite simply, one of the best comics of the year, one that both feels like a natural next level for Emily Carroll and in keeping with the excellent body of work that the cartoonist has already assembled.

“…a stunning work, an immersive treat that uses grounded horror and a bold command of craft to accentuate its ideas and themes, creating a reading experience that is easily among the best of the year.”

Last year was a bumper year for comics-related wins in the LA Times Book Prizes with Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries (Chronicle Books) winning in the graphic novel category, and Alex Segura’s comics industry-inspired novel Secret Identity (Flatiron Books) winning in the Mystery Thriller Category.



  1. Well deserved! I don’t think i would have read this had it not had a glowing review in the Beat! I loved it! Thanks Beat!

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