*POSTPONED* KATHRYN SCANLAN reads from her new story collection THE DOMINANT ANIMAL in conversation with Brian Evenson

The Dominant Animal (MCD X FSG Originals)

In The Dominant Animal compression is key. Sentences have been relentlessly trimmed, tuned, and teased, rendering both their syntax and subjects wondrous and strange. A ferocious attention to rhythm and sound creates a thrum of excitability and distress. The nature of love is questioned at a golf course, a flower shop, an all-you-can-eat buffet. The clay head of a man is bought and displayed as a trophy. Interior life manifests on the physical plane, where characters—human and animal—eat and breathe, provoke and injure one another.

With exquisite control, Scanlan moves from expansive moods and fine afternoons to unease and violence—and also from deliberate and generative ambiguity to shocking, revelatory exactitude. Disturbances accrue as the collection progresses. How often the conclusions open—rather than tie—up. How they twist alertly. No mercy, a character says—and these stories are merciless and strange and absolutely masterful.

Praise for The Dominant Animal:

“Scanlan craftily makes the stuff of everyday life seem strange and rare in this collection . . . Scanlan has a knack for subtly bending the ordinary into the uncanny . . . Reading Scanlan is akin to looking at two ‘spot the difference’ images, but not knowing what, exactly, is off. This is a delightful, mischievous, and mysterious collection that’s perfect for fans of Lydia Davis and Mary Ruefle." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Kathryn Scanlan comes to us as an oracle when we have never before been so desperately in need. The truths of our human affliction divulged in these icily precise, immaculately impolite, genius-spooked stories will undo you for your own good." —Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way

“Kathryn Scanlan’s The Dominant Animal is a collection full of bright, weird, funny, bizarre yet familiar vignettes, each casting its own shadow. With equal parts unease and delight, I felt as if I were wandering through strangers’ homes, seeing their private faces, listening in on their hushed or clipped or pleading conversations. This is a book that pretends to be unassuming only to explode in your hands." —Lindsay Hunter, author of Eat Only When You’re Hungry

Kathryn Scanlan’s work has been published in NOON, Granta, and The Paris Review. She lives in Los Angeles.

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press, 2019). His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship, and was a 2018 Guggenheim Recipient. His work has been translated into a dozen languages. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Dominant Animal: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374538293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - April 7th, 2020

Aug 9 - Fog Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374106874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - June 4th, 2019

Song for the Unraveling of the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566895484
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - June 11th, 2019