Man V. Nature: Stories
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Diane Cook is the author of the novel, THE NEW WILDERNESS, which was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and the story collection, MAN V. NATURE, which was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, The Pen/Hemingway Award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Harper's, Tin House, Granta, and other publications, and her stories have been included in the anthologies Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She is a former producer for the radio program This American Life, and was the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, daughter and son.
"What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place."--Ira Glass, Host, "This American Life"
"Masterful...Each darkly comic modern fable reveals our societal preoccupations -- with status, sex, motherhood, belonging -- for what they really are: thin veneers over our ever-present animal selves, ready to crack at the merest provocation. A book that'll grab your attention and keep you thinking."--Helene Wecker, author of THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI
"Diane Cook's stories are like high-wattage bulbs strung across a sinister, dark land. Man V. Nature is equal parts dazzle and depth."--Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born
"Man V. Nature could also be called Diane Cook V. The Challenges of Writing Fresh, Invigorating Fiction in Our Age. In the latter contest, Cook crushes. Here is a bold debut."--Sam Lipsyte, author of HOME LAND
"MAN V. NATURE is as close to experiencing a Picasso as literature can get: the worlds in Diane Cook's impressive debut are bizarre, vertiginous, funny, pushed to the extreme-but just familiar enough in their nuances of the human condition to evoke an irresistible, around-the-corner reality."--Tea Obreht, author of THE TIGER'S WIFE
"Lively, apocalypse-tinged tales...Cook mines the moments that precede the losses-when the battles are truly raging-and it's in them that she finds great beauty and strangeness...And, in the end, this collection suggests, meaning might be worth the battle."--New York Times Book Review
"[Cook] puts forth idiosyncratic and twisted conceits, but delivers the narrative goods when it comes to depicting the tragic, emotional lives of her characters... Like the best kind of fiction, the reader is left with much to think about within the broad realms of sex, death, love and friendship."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A dark pleasure...In 'Meteorologist Dave Santana' sex happens less often than the desperate, older woman (the meteorologist's neighbor) would like. Cook is a young woman imagining an older woman's need, and not charitably. But if Cook is anything like me, that desperate neighbor is herself. I've never really felt young."--Miranda July, Goodreads "Good Minds Suggest"
"Here's a good rule: If Diane Cook wrote it, read it...Safety is tenuous, if not an illusion, in her thoughtful, unsettling, and darkly funny collection."--Boston Globe
"Seethes with heat, rejection and twisted perception...I found myself enthralled by all of the stories in this collection. Not only are they surprising, but also fresh, funny, sad, often surreal and oddly true."--Omnivoracious
"Quirkiness abounds, with several fairy-tale tropes thrown in for good measure...Some stories jump off the page...all are oddly charming."--Publishers Weekly
"Potent and unnerving...stark spookiness in the vein of Shirley Jackson and William Golding...[and] a lonely weirdness like that of Aimee Bender and George Saunders...Cook writes assuredly of archetypal terror and even more insightfully of hunger-for food, friendship, love, and above all, survival. A canny, refined, and reverberating debut."--Donna Seaman, Booklist
"This past month I discovered Diane Cook and had many moments of story-delight, really just too many to count, because Diane Cook is that good. . . . Cook's writing is lively and frank."--Impose Magazine
"MAN V. NATURE may be Diane Cook's first book, but the former "This American Life" producer's work is impressively precocious--making it our favorite short-story collection of October."--GQ
"Irresistible reading...The author probes her characters' psychological depths in weird and wonderful ways...With MAN V. NATURE Cook makes a bold, original debut."--San Jose Mercury News
"This week, I have been reading the most astonishing book, MAN V. NATURE by Diane Cook. The stories are surreal, with the sharpest edge and in one way or another, each story reveals something raw and powerful about being human in a world where so little is in our control."--Roxane Gay
"I couldn't pry myself away from MAN V. NATURE . . . The stories are grim, violent, and darkly funny, but never so far removed from our most human urges to seem TOTALLY implausible."--Buzzfeed, "5 Great Books to Read in December"
"Hunger, despair, and perpetual awe for the collapsing natural world and the vulnerability of existence therein. Apply liberally before exposure to the elements. Contents include truth and other known allergens."--Flavorwire, "28 Feminist Writers Recommend Books Every Man Should Read"
"This debut story collection takes the familiar narrative conflict and applies it to contemporary characters. The capriciousness of the natural world in Cook's stories colors them with a Romantic, almost surreal light that fans of Megan Mayhew Bergman are sure to appreciate."--Huffington Post, "Best Books of the Fall"
"Man v. Nature is a knockout...every single story could make a great movie...'Somebody's Baby' completely captures the crippling, animal-like vigilance of early motherhood. I had to put the book down and just sob, and I was thrilled at the same time, thinking: 'It works! This medium really works!'"--Miranda July, New York Times Book Review
"Masterly."--New York Times "Paperback Row"
"Beautifully written dystopian short story collection."--Jezebel
"When people ask me the desert island question, I usually say this is the book I'd bring...Her stories about survival amid the brutalities of nature are bracing primers for the apocalypse.--San Francisco Weekly, "10 Bay Area Women You Should Read Now"