LIVE ON CROWDCAST: LARA EHRLICH discusses her debut short story collection ANIMAL WIFE with AMBER SPARKS

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Animal Wife (Red Hen Press)

Animal Wife is composed of fifteen stories unified by girls and women seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds. They address the complexities of transitioning from innocence to experience and take on the anxiety of motherhood. The majority of the stories are set in an off-kilter version of our world, where the fantastical can exist side by side with—and reveal the absurdities of—the mundane. They often include monsters, mothers, and monstrous mothers.

Praise for Animal Wife:

“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.”—Ann HoodNew York Times bestselling author

“In this sparkling debut collection, Ehrlich draws on the dark undersides of fairytales to portray the growth, strangeness, and ferocity of childhood with haunting beauty. Each story takes us deeper into the rabbit hole: with mythical monsters and Ovidian transformations, girls discover their own strength and darkness. As the women in these stories cast about for freedom, they become dangerous beings themselves; Ehrlich reminds us how thin the line is between violence and desire. She is a master observer of the magic and mystery that lurk at the edge of our lives. This collection is the arrival of a startling and undeniable new talent in the world of genre-breaking fiction.”—Blair Hurley, author of The Devoted

“The stories in Lara Ehrlich’s Animal Wife are gorgeous and heartbreaking. They glide into each other, refract, and expand outward again, echoing seasons and change and longing. They cause astonishment and wonder. They ask: what does it mean to be in a body? What do we ever know about girlhood? It is a complex and rewarding read.”—Kristen Arnett, author of Felt in the Jaw and Mostly Dead Things

Lara Ehrlich is the author of the short story collection Animal Wife (Red Hen Press, 2020), which won Red Hen’s Fiction Award, judged by Ann Hood. Lara’s stories are published in F(r)iction, Hunger Mountain, StoryQuarterlyThe Normal School, and elsewhere, and she is the winner of a 2019 IHAF In-House Creativity Award and numerous Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards for her feature writing. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Learn more about Lara's work at and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram


And I Do Not Forgive You (Liveright)

Boldly blending fables and myths with apocalyptic technologies, Amber Sparks holds a singular role in the canon of the weird. Having garnered acclaim for her shimmering collection The Unfinished World, she reaches uncanny heights with And I Do Not Forgive You. In prose that beats with urgency, these contemporary stories read like the best of fairytales--which are, as Sparks writes, just a warning disguised as a wish.

Taken together, this hypnotic and otherworldly collection seeks to reclaim the lives of the silenced. And what is history, Sparks asks, but the chance to dig up our skeletons and give them new stories? Humorous and unapologetically fierce, And I Do Not Forgive You offers a mosaic of an all-too-real world that too often fails to listen to its goddesses.

Praise for And I Do Not Forgive You:

"[Sparks] impresses with her exceptional collection of wry, feminist stories.... Some stories smuggle incredible emotional impact into surprisingly few pages.... Sparks's sardonic wit never distracts from her polished dismantling of everyday and extraordinary abuses. Readers will love this remarkable, deliciously caustic collection."--Publishers Weekly [starred review]

"What joyful play and heart and movement in these stories, full of permission and the thrum of ideas bursting and growing on the page. To read one is like a bon-bon on a silver platter with a lit sparkler stuck inside."--Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master

"Amber Sparks' stories are, precisely, like her name: precious things delivered in a burst of fire and light."--Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body & Other Parties

"Re-appropriating fairy tales, urban legends, and supernatural fantasies, Amber Sparks' startling kaleidoscopic visions re-cast familiar heroines in their own stories. Reading this was a delight!"--Ling Ma, author of Severance

Amber Sparks is the author of several short story collections, including The Unfinished World and Other Stories, and I Do Not Forgive You (Liveright). Her essays and fiction can be found widely in print and online, in places like The Paris Review, NYMag, Granta, and Tin House.   

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Animal Wife Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597098847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Hen Press - September 8th, 2020

And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631496202
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - February 11th, 2020

The Unfinished World: And Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631490903
Availability: Backordered
Published: Liveright - January 25th, 2016

The Desert Places Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780988480483
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Curbside Splendor Publishing - November 26th, 2013

May We Shed These Human Bodies Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780983422877
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Curbside Splendor Publishing - October 9th, 2012