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A zoo worker, cautiously washing down Marysue the elephant, considers the strange, grim fragments he’s heard of his co-workers’ lives. Giraffes demand better living conditions and stage a mock group suicide. A girl escapes her repressive finishing school to find freedom with the monkeys in the African jungle. Snake or dog, buffalo, cat or turkey, each animal in Hannah Tinti’s brilliant, darkly comic collection holds up a disturbing mirror to the human beings around it.


'While Tinti writes well about things that slither and crawl, what's most impressive is her understanding of human loneliness. These stories resonate with one mournful grace-note after another... Tinti delivers with poise uncommon among first-time writers. Like Edgar Allan Poe and Patricia Highsmith, [she] has a brilliant feel for the uncanny' Scotland on Sunday
Scotland on Sunday
'Tinti can hook a reader with a first sentence' New York Metro
New York Metro
'Children and beasts of all sorts dominate Hannah Tinti's first book... a quirky, often disturbing collection. Hers is a world where things are jarringly out of kilter, a world of transformation, casual violence and twisted feelings... Animals and humans alike, Tinti gets under their skin' Daily Mail (Lee Langley)
Daily Mail (Lee Langley)
'Don't be deceived by the animals prancing about the cover of this short-story collection. There are dark, dark tales within... Tinti laces her stories with a fine thread of black humour... Refreshingly original, bold and accomplished' Glasgow Herald
Glasgow Herald
'Tinti revisits the familiar territory of the American short story - troubled homes, dysfunctional families and peevish marriages - but gives it a shot of grotesque vigour through these connections to the animal kingdom. They're tart and unnerving with a delicious shudder of gothic.' Guardian, 02/04/05
'Tinti writes a sharp, snappy, deadpan prose that shifts easily between black, knockabout comedy and a more tender form of irony. This is a witty, lively and inventive collection of stories' Telegraph
Saturday Telegraph
'A stunning new writer. These are important stories and they really are crackers - told with tremendous wit, brilliance and verve. They may well be the 'Just So' stories of our troubled times' Roger Deakin (author of Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain)
Roger Deakin (author of WATERLOG: A Swimmer's Jour
'At times her style recalls Flannery O'Connor; the stories embedded with incidental Gothic details ... considerable writing skill' Independent on Sunday
Independent on Sunday