Belly Up is a strange and wonderful collection of stories about women and girls, exploring the ways that their bodies and identities commingle, or are objectified, or consume/are consumed. Herein the tuning of a harp gives a woman a second self, high school girls talks about eating themselves and becoming flowers, a dead husband feels omnipresent in his widow's sex life, and a saleswoman finds it more and more difficult to distinguish herself from the luxury furniture she helps sell. These stories are made for underlining, exclamations, and dreaming about later — each as funny, sad, and beautiful as the last. Recommended By Cosima C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Belly Up is a story collection that contains ghosts, mediums, a lover obsessed with the sound of harps tuning, teenage girls who believe they are actually plants, gulag prisoners who outsmart a terrible warden, and carnivorous churches. Throughout these grotesque and tender stories, characters question the bodies they've been given and what their bodies require to be sustained.
“These stunning stories take place in the spaces between ordinary objects and events. They are mysterious, strange, and fearlessly funny in their expression of human isolation, and they contain the existential surprises of great literature. Belly Up is a powerful debut by an unusually gifted writer.” Lorrie Moore
“At the intersection of the surreal and the real, Rita Bullwinkel has carved out a unique space in which the mundane and the strange cohabitate and sometimes frolic. The sharp, precise writing and careful observations of the human condition in her excellent first collection Belly Up signal the debut of a major new talent.” Jeff VanderMeer
"Bullwinkel's delightful, passionate stories of disturbance and worried words have the best kind of frenetic energy." Deb Olin Unferth
About the Author
Rita Bullwinkel’s writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney's. She lives in San Francisco. This is her first book.
Rita Bullwinkel on PowellsBooks.Blog
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