Lara Ehrlich

Animal Wife

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In this award-winning debut collection, fifteen magical realism stories portray girls and women searching for an escape from their everyday lives.
“In villages where women bore most of the weight of a constricted life, witches flew by night on broomsticks,” said Italo Calvino of the way imagination bridges the gap between everyday existence and an idealized alternative . . .
The fifteen stories of Animal Wife are unified by girls and women who cross this threshold seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds. A girl born with feathers undertakes a quest for the mother who abandoned her. An indecisive woman drinks Foresight, only to become stymied by the futures branching before her. A proofreader cultivates a cage-fighting alter ego. A woman becomes psychologically trapped in her car. A girl acts on her desire for a childhood friend as a monster draws closer to the shore. A widow invites a bear to hibernate in her den . . .
Animal Wife was selected as the winner of the Red Hen Fiction Award by New York Times— bestselling author Ann Hood, who says, “From the first sentence Animal Wife grabbed me and never let go. Sensual and intelligent, with gorgeous prose, it made me dizzy with its exploration and illumination of the inner and outer lives of girls and women.”
Praise for Animal Wife
“Whimsy and fantasy meet the way things really turn out in stories from a strong new voice.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Strange, funny, fearsome, Animal Wife is a gorgeous book, weird in its very bones.” —Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway: A Novel
“Lara Ehrlich has written a collection of stories that allow for escapism.” —F®iction
“I was particularly intrigued by the way Lara beautifully portrays the inner struggle between wildness and domesticity, the surreal elements of each story lending a mythical complexity to these conflicts. Really lovely and thought-provoking. Perfect for fans of Aimee Bender, Karen Russell, and Angela Carter.” —Joy Baglio, founder of Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop
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124 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
Red Hen Press
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • Daria & Zviadshared an impression3 years ago

  • b9849384272shared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • Evelina Todorovahas quotedlast year
    She’d toyed with the idea of moving to Canada—but she’d done the moving-for-a-new-life thing before. New places quickly become old, as do clothes, habits, and men. She always returns to herself. Diana needs a change she can’t come back from.
  • faustina Katsekporhas quoted4 years ago
    I pack my compass and canteen and slip into the woods

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