Weird & Wonderful is our monthly celebration of the weird--be it science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, magical realism, or any genre otherwise strange.
This month's book club pick is Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett.
** We will be gathering virtually on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81120087423?pwd=bXNEeWpnSFFkK21HTlNHYTdlRlFaZz09
If you'd like to join and haven't used Zoom-- sign up for a free account and download Zoom prior to the meeting. It's pretty easy to get set up, but here's a linked video describing the process.**
One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo's wife--and the only person Jessa's ever been in love with--walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother's art escalates--picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose--and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them.
Kristen Arnett's debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love.
Mostly Dead Things is one of the strangest and funniest and most surprising first novels I've ever read. A love letter to Florida and to family, to half-lit swamps and the 7/11, and to the beasts that only pretend to hold their poses inside us. In Kristen Arnett's expert hands, taxidermy becomes a language to capture our species' impossible and contradictory desire to be held and to be free.-- Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
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