by Kathryn Harlan
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Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 31 May 2022
This genre-bending debut collection of stories constructs eight eerie worlds full of desire, wisdom, and magic blooming amidst decay.
In stories that beckon and haunt, Fruiting Bodies ranges confidently from the fantastical to the gothic to the uncanny, as it follows characters—mostly queer, mostly women—on the precipice of change. In “The Changeling,” two young cousins wait in dread for a new family member to arrive, convinced that he may be a dangerous supernatural creature. In “Endangered Animals,” Jane prepares to say goodbye to her almost-love while they road-trip across a country irrevocably altered by climate change. In the title story, partners Agnes and Geb feast peacefully on the mushrooms that sprout from Agnes’s body—until an unwanted male guest disturbs their cloistered home.
For readers of Carmen Maria Machado and Karen Russell, Fruiting Bodies offers stories about knowledge in a world on the verge of collapse, knowledge that alternately empowers or devastates. Pulling beautifully, brazenly, from a variety of literary traditions, Kathryn Harlan firmly establishes herself as a thrilling new voice in fiction.
About the Author:
Kathryn Harlan is the recipient of the 2019 Derleth Fiction Prize. She received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she now teaches writing. Her work has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
"I remember feeling like the shape of her skeleton would be imprinted on me for the rest of my life."
What an amazing collection of queer, speculative short stories! It's honestly hard to pick a favorite (though if I had to, it would be Fruiting Bodies). The stories discuss girlhood, sexuality, family, bodies, climate change, fairytales, etc!! It's truly a wonderful collection, highly recommend for people who like Carmen Maria Machado.
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