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I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

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4.68  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews
An urgent and unsettling collection of women on the verge from Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, Laura van den Berg's first story collection since her acclaimed and prizewinning Isle of Youth, draws readers into a world of wholly original, sideways ghost stories that linger in the mouth and mind like rotten, fragrant fruit. Both
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Hardcover
Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Meike
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2019-read
When it comes to dark, twisted writing, Laura van den Berg is clearly a master: This book is disturbing and funny, surreal and all-too-real, fearless and terrifying. In eleven short stories, the author illuminates the female experience, highlighting certain aspects and phenomena by giving the texts a surreal edge. While the storylines are often slightly meandering (hello, The Third Hotel), the texts are not build in a traditional manner; rather, they are structured around pivotal incidents and ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
These stories all follow women at pivotal points in their lives. Unlike slice of life short stories, the pivotal variety can be problematic, but these are so well crafted, they lodge in the mind. But they are also slippery, and these women, not all of whom are relatable or likeable, are truly original and make for twisty reading. Usually there are a few entries in collections that lower the experience, making it difficult to complete. But this is one of those rare cases in which each story is ...more
Paris (parisperusing)
I did not give Laura consent to devastate me like this.

(Comprehensive review to come.)
Chris Haak
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever read a story collection in which every story is told in the first person. It's interesting, as you automatically think it's the same character every story, which of course doesn't have to be the case. I liked it and it made me race throught the stories (as it normally takes me months to read a story collection), each one fascinating and well written.
Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Edelweiss for the ARC
Jonathan
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Auribus Teneo Lumpum, the latin phrase meaning I hold a wolf by the ears, an old mythological term with a meaning along the lines of, there is no easy way out
.
Once you begin Laura Van Den Bergs short story collection the same rings true, there simply is no easy way out of these tales. Overflowing with the strange and bizarre, the eerie and chilling, and quite often unsettling stories of lonely women on the edge, or recounting stories that have shaped or ruined them. Every woman is almost
...more
Lisa
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Terrific collection that plumbs the overlap between loss, grief, and horror... which, when you think about it, is a pretty broad swath. These stories are deceptively dense, packed with strata of their narrators' lives, and both demand and reward careful reading. Some common themes emergeVan den Berg's female narrators are often less functional younger sisters or daughters (there's a lot of mileage to be mined from that oneplus I still remember the feeling wellso I have no issue with her bringing ...more
Chase
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, arc
Great stuff, just a rich collection all around. The long stories really shine --- "Volcano House" and "Karolina" are as good as anything she's done. But the shorter pieces, of which there are a few, don't feel in any way superfluous, which is something that often happens to shorts in a collection. "Cult of Mary," in fact, has a final sentence that made me gasp.

These stories are all thematically linked, tonally resonant. Siblings, doubles, photographs, various betrayals both subtle and
...more
Caroline Leavitt
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dark in the most delicious ways, unexpected twists and flashes of genius in laura Van den Berg (The Third Hotel is also phenomenal) book of short stories.
Jason Diamond
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I honestly can't recommend reading this and anything else she does enough. She's one of the best short story writers out there.
Nate
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Its fitting that this collection opens with a Clarice Lispector quote. This is my first foray into van den Bergs writing, but she seems to carry traits of the South American writers with their meandering way of storytelling. Little details make a life and they make up the body of these haunting tales as we ride the wave of the characters inner dialogues and their bizarre adventures. ...more
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Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a finalist for the Frank OConnor International Short Story Award. Her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth (FSG Originals, 2013), received the Rosenthal Award for Fiction from the American ...more

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