Book cover
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Publisher — Farrar Straus & Giroux
Date Published — July 28, 2020
ISBN — 9780374102098

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Laura van den Berg

View in Webstore
Publisher — Farrar Straus & Giroux
Date Published — July 28, 2020
ISBN — 9780374102098

"As enchanting as fairy tales, as mysterious as dreams, these exquisitely composed fictions are as urgent and original as any being written today.” —Sigrid Nunez, author ofThe Friend, winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction

One ofEntertainment Weekly's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 and 30 Hottest Summer Reads, one ofO, the Oprah Magazine's 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020, one ofBuzzFeed's Most Anticipated Books of 2020 and 29 Summer Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down, one ofEsquire's 20 Must-Read Books of Summer 2020, one of the BBC's Ten Books to Read in 2020, one ofTIME's 12 New Books to Read in July one ofELLE's 30 Most Anticipated New Books of Summer 2020, one of Refinery29's 25 Books You'll Want to Read This Summer, one ofTime's 45 New Books You Need to Read This Summer, one ofThrillist's 21 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2020, one of Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of July 2020, one of LitHub's 2020 Summer Books, and
one ofThe Millions Most Anticipated Books of the First Half of 2020

An urgent and unsettling collection of women on the verge from Laura van den Berg, author ofThe Third Hotel

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, Laura van den Berg’s first story collection since her prizewinning bookThe Isle of Youth, draws readers into a world of wholly original, sideways ghost stories that linger in the mouth and the mind. Both timeless and urgent, these eleven stories confront misogyny, violence, and the impossible economics of America with van den Berg’s trademark spiky humor and surreal eye. Moving from the peculiarities of Florida to liminal spaces of travel in Mexico City, Sicily, and Iceland,I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is uncannily attuned to our current moment, and to the fears we reveal to no one but ourselves.

In “Lizards,” a man mutes his wife’s anxieties by giving her a LaCroix-like seltzer laced with sedatives. In the title story, a woman poses as her more successful sister during a botched Italian holiday, a choice that brings about strange and destructive consequences, while in “Karolina,” a woman discovers her prickly ex-sister-in-law in the aftermath of an earthquake and is forced to face the truth about her violent brother.

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears presents a collection of women on the verge, trying to grasp what’s left of life: grieving, divorced, and hyperaware, searching, vulnerable, and unhinged, they exist in a world that deviates from our own only when you look too closely. With remarkable control and transcendent talent, van den Berg dissolves, in the words of the narrator of “Slumberland,” “that border between magic and annihilation,” and further establishes herself as a defining fiction writer of our time.