The Dominant Animal: Stories


Product Details

$15.00  $13.95
MCD X Fsg Originals
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Kathryn Scanlan is the author of Aug 9--Fog. Her work has been published in NOON, Fence, Granta, and The Paris Review. She lives in Los Angeles.


[The stories] are short, but their mood and imagery are lasting, and reflective of brutal truths of the commerce of human civilization . . . chilling, finely tuned pieces on power and survival. --Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times

Lean and mean--whittled down to their very viscera--the 40 stories assembled in The Dominant Animal are certainly close to the bone . . . The young American author's audacious deployment of lacunae is a measure of her singular artistry . . . These are sentences written in stone--to be read out loud or learned by heart. --Andrew Gallix, The Irish Times

[Scanlan's] work offers its own canted mix of eroticism and absurdism, its own gnarled comedy of gender and class . . . At their best, her stories make other writers' work seem fatty and uptight . . . Scanlan's stories tell you almost nothing--which, in these cacophonous times, is the mark of a true radical. --Jeremy Lybarger, 4Columns

Scanlan is challenging our norms and pushing our boundaries, making a story do more than perhaps we previously thought possible. --JA Tyler, Ploughshares

In an age of ever-increasing activity, with the deification of efficiency and progress, it is difficult to see anything without seeing everything, and everything is too much to really see. We are all the more at the mercy of writers like Scanlan who provide new ways of seeing. --Stephen Mortland, Full Stop

Kathryn Scanlan writes sentences so delicious that you want to roll them around your mouth like an expensive chocolate. Each of the pristine, compact stories in her debut collection, The Dominant Animal, links one ingenious grammatical construction to another in a chain of virtuosic prose . . . With their bizarre scenarios, vibrant imagery, and insightful metaphors, the stories in The Dominant Animal operate as exquisite specimens of high literary art. --Wilson McBee, Southwest Review

Scanlan's sentences are sharp . . . These aren't stories meant to satisfy, they are ones that punch you in the gut. --Brendan Buck, Newcity Lit

Scanlan craftily makes the stuff of everyday life seem strange and rare in this collection . . . Scanlan has a knack for subtly bending the ordinary into the uncanny . . . Reading Scanlan is akin to looking at two "spot the difference" images, but not knowing what, exactly, is off. This is a delightful, mischievous, and mysterious collection that's perfect for fans of Lydia Davis and Mary Ruefle. --Publishers Weekly (starred)

A quick glimpse of a weird world, with the readers as passengers just catching a startling tableau only to find it vanished when we turn to see it closer, leaving us to ponder what it might mean . . . much to admire in these fleeting pieces. --Kirkus

Kathryn Scanlan comes to us as an oracle when we have never before been so desperately in need. The truths of our human affliction divulged in these icily precise, immaculately impolite, genius-spooked stories will undo you for your own good. --Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way

Kathryn Scanlan's The Dominant Animal is a collection full of bright, weird, funny, bizarre yet familiar vignettes, each casting its own shadow. With equal parts unease and delight, I felt as if I were wandering through strangers' homes, seeing their private faces, listening in on their hushed or clipped or pleading conversations. This is a book that pretends to be unassuming only to explode in your hands. --Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You're Hungry

"Kathryn Scanlan whittles sentences into weapons. The stories in The Dominant Animal are not cuddly; the dog jaws the baby like a bone; and humans, just as easily, gnaw at animals and other humans. Just as easily, the stories turn into poems, the wind blows through them and 'scatters' us." --Christine Schutt, author of Pure Hollywood