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The Emma Press


The Strange Egg

The Strange Egg




The Strange Egg is a luminous gothic prose poem by Kirstie Millar, illustrated by Hannah Mumby. Part of The Emma Press Art Squares series.

The egg cries all night. I cannot bear its noiseless sobs.

I rock the egg. I cover it with a blanket. I tell it a story.

I threaten to smash it with a spoon. Nothing

helps. Nothing stops the tortured cries.


Page count: 36

Publication date: 19 January 2023

Paperback ISBN: 9781915628022


Kirstie Millar

Kirstie Millar is a writer based in Manchester. In 2017 she founded Ache, an intersectional feminist press publishing writing and art on illness, health, bodies and pain. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at UEA and was a recipient of the Ink, Sweat and Tears Scholarship. Her writing has been published by Prototype, 3 of Cups Press and has been commended by Penguin’s WriteNow programme in 2020 and the UEA New Forms Awards in 2021.


Doctor, I had a terrible dream.
In my dream I saw my own body, and I saw what you will do to it.’

The Strange Egg is a luminous gothic prose poem that delves into the mythopoeic to express injustice at the hands of abusive medical systems.

A woman is faced, month after month, with the birth of a strange egg. Her doctor asks that she take notes on her symptoms, documenting black blood clots as big as pennies, winking stars in her eyes, and relentless pain. As the woman waits for aid from her doctor, she begins to have strange premonitions of what will be done to her body. The egg, meanwhile, is watchful and demanding. Impatient.

Kirstie Millar’s The Strange Egg is as gorgeous as it is horrifying. Highly original, it challenges long-held beliefs that people of marginalised genders are unreliable and irrational witnesses to our own bodies.

About the illustrator

Hannah Mumby is an illustrator and artist based in south west England. Hannah’s approach to illustration is rooted in paying close attention to the stories that we tell about ourselves, listening for subtle hidden meanings and associations. Her illustrations seek to open up new ways of reflecting on the narratives we are reading, and draw attention to mysterious or surreal threads that may be hidden beneath the surface. See more of Hannah’s work at

Praise for the Book

“The square page shape and the use of the artwork as a kind of framing device give the whole a feeling of being a children’s book for adults, in a good way, highlighting the mythic tone and using colour and shape to illuminate the text. The final page, where the ‘joyous destination’ takes the visual from of a glowing egg doorway is particularly effective. You need to go read the book yourself to see what I mean.” – Billy Mills for Elliptical Movements

“Kirstie Millar’s surreal pamphlet-length prose poem is so much more than the sum of its parts; it is indefinable, genre defying.  Hannah Mumby’s illustrations act as a powerful vehicle to both enhance and underpin Millar’s visceral prose…The Strange Egg is an arresting and disturbing piece of work which brings the horror of this illness to vivid life.  I can guarantee you will not have read anything like it!” – Sue Burge for WordCityLit

Additional information

Dimensions 20 × .5 × 20 cm

Paperback, eBook

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