Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century

By Kim Fu
Read by Piper Goodeve, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Samara Naeymi, Gary Tiedemann, and Jeena Yi

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century
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The debut collection from PEN/Hemingway Award finalist and ‘propulsive storyteller’ (NYT Book Review), with stories that are by turns poignant and pulpy

In the twelve unforgettable tales of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the strange is made familiar and the ... Read more


Overview

 

The debut collection from PEN/Hemingway Award finalist and ‘propulsive storyteller’ (NYT Book Review), with stories that are by turns poignant and pulpy

In the twelve unforgettable tales of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. Each story builds a new world all its own: a group of children steal a haunted doll; a runaway bride encounters a sea monster; a vendor sells toy boxes that seemingly control the passage of time; an insomniac is seduced by the Sandman. These visions of modern life wrestle with themes of death and technological consequence, guilt and sexuality, as they unmask the contradictions that exist within all of us.

”Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century crushes the coal-dark zeitgeist between its teeth and spits out diamonds, beautiful but razor-sharp. This will be one of the best short story collections of the year. ” —Indra Das, author of The Devourers

 

Kim Fu

Kim Fu's novel For Today I Am a Boy (2014) was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and winner of the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Fu's writing has been widely published and anthologized, including by The Atlantic, NPR, Maisonneuve and Best Canadian Essays. Her debut poetry collection, How Festive The Ambulance, was published by Nightwood Editions in 2016. Her next novel, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is forthcoming in 2018 with Harper Collins. Fu is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with an MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in Seattle, WA.

Reviews

 

“Fu joins recent maestros Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black, 2018), Charles Yu (Sorry Please Thank You, 2012), and Seong-nan Ha (Bluebeard’s First Wife, 2020) in creating irrefutably fantastic fiction. ” — Booklist, starred review

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is one of those rare collections that never suffers from which-one-was-that-again? syndrome. Every story here lights a flame in the memory, shining brighter as time goes by rather than dimming. Kim Fu writes with grace, wit, mischief, daring, and her own deep weird phosphorescent understanding. ” —Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories

“How I loved the cool wit of these speculative stories! Filled with wonder and wondering, they’re haunted too by loss and loneliness, their imaginative reach profoundly rooted in the human condition. ” —Peter Ho Davies, author of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is for the adventurous reader—someone willing to walk into a story primed for cultural critique and suddenly come across a plot for murder, or to consider the dangers of sea monsters alongside those posed by twenty-first-century ennui. Each story is spectacularly smart, hybrid in genre, and bold with intention. The monsters here are not only fantastical figures brought to life in hyper-reality but also the strangest parts of the human heart. This book is as moving as it is monumental. ” —Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised

“Precise, elegant, uncanny, and mesmerizing—each story in this collection is a crystalline gem. Kim Fu's talent is singularly inventive, her every sentence a surprise and an adventure. ” — Danya Kukafka, author of Notes on an Execution

 

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