“A powerful, irresistible collection” of short stories about outsiders by the bestselling author of Red Clocks (Publishers Weekly).
A teenage boy discovers his blind mother making a pass at his new best friend. A woman works in a factory by day and tends to a menagerie of sick animals by night. An aspiring witch is disillusioned by her spiritual shortcomings. A girl from a town so small it doesn’t exist on any map runs away with a rock band—all the while attempting to chart her way back home.
The odds stacked against them, the lovingly rendered outsiders in these stories find connectedness and redemption in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Even the most surreal and ethereal moments take on a surprising familiarity, and the darkest experiences are imbued with unexpected hope. To become engrossed in Zumas’s world is a strange and beautiful delight.
“Zumas gives socially awkward, mysteriously gifted and self-destructive outcasts spellbinding, unflinching voice in her debut collection. The heroes in this collection are trapped; some are resigned to years of caregiving, many are institutionalized and nearly all haunt the fringes of normalcy (or disregard the normal altogether).” —Publishers Weekly
“Attention unrequited lovers, sisters of suicidal brothers, children of the legally blind: you are not alone. Leni Zumas understands your quiet agony.” —Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You