Mostly Dead Things
‘Messed-up families, scandalous love affairs, art, life, death and the great state of Florida in one delicious, darkly funny package. Kristen Arnett is a wickedly talented and a wholly original voice’ Jami Attenberg
What does it take to come back to life?
In the wake of her father’s suicide, Jessa-Lynn Morton has stepped up to manage his failing taxidermy business while the rest of the Morton family falls apart. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make alarming art with stuffed animals; and while her brother Milo withdraws, his wife, Brynn – the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with – leaves home without a word. A string of unexpected incidents opens up the chance for the Mortons to mend: can they piece themselves together again?
Kristen Arnett’s breakout debut is a darkly funny family portrait; a peculiar, bighearted look at love and loss and the ways we live through them together.
‘This book is my song of the summer’ Parul Seghal, New York Times
‘Wonderful’ Esme Weijun Wang, Guardian
‘Explores love, loss and death and is guaranteed to keep you gripped throughout’ Mirror
‘The writing is subtle and meditative, with the tactile weight of dense fur’ New Yorker
Florida's literary renaissance charges onward with this heartfelt, one-of-a-kind novel * Esquire * Wonderful * Guardian * A gorgeously twisted story * Vanity Fair * I don't think I've ever read a novel like it . . . Kristen Arnett is the queen of the Florida no one has ever told you about A dark and oftentimes comedic tale of love and loss * Evening Standard * The writing is subtle and meditative, with the tactile weight of dense fur . . . She takes taxidermy seriously as a craft, not just as a device; she makes it real and intimate . . . it gives readers a fresh way to think about fiction itself, which lives, or half lives, on the rippling cusp of the real * The New Yorker * Its humor is as dark and glinting as the black plastic eye of a taxidermy ferret * Nylon * The novel explores love, life and death and is guaranteed to keep you gripped throughout * Mirror * Hilarious, deeply morbid and full of heart * BuzzFeed * Arnett possesses all the bravery her characters dream of. There's none of the shyness and self-consciousness of so much American fiction that masks itself as austerity. She writes comic set pieces to make you laugh, sex scenes to turn you on. The action flips from the past to the present, swimming through first love and first grief on a slick of red Kool-Aid and vodka, suntan oil and fruity lip gloss, easy and unforced. This book is my song of the summer. * New York Times * Messed-up families, scandalous love affairs, art, life, death and the great state of Florida in one delicious, darkly funny package. Kristen Arnett is wickedly talented and a wholly original voice -- Jami Attenberg
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