“Blurs the often fine lines between literary and genre fictions, allegory and horror, magical realism and bizarro . . . An unforgettable reading experience” (The New York Journal of Books).
A nineteenth-century minister builds an elaborate motor that will bring about the Second Coming. A man with rough hands locks a boy in a room with an albino ape. An apocalyptic army falls under a veil of forgetfulness. The story of Red Riding Hood is run through a potentially endless series of iterations. A father invents an elaborate, consuming game for his hospitalized son. Indexes, maps, a checkered shirt buried beneath a blanket of snow: they are scattered through these pages as clues to mysteries that may never be solved, lingering evidence of the violence and unknowability of the world.
Named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Review of Books, A Tree or a Person or a Wall brings together Matt Bell’s acclaimed short fiction—the story collection How They Were Found and the acclaimed novella Cataclysm Baby—along with seven dark and disturbing new stories, to create a work of singular power.