The world as written by Amelia Gray is a deeply unsettling place, and I visit it every chance I get. Her stories are both bizarre and relatable, and she is startlingly good at carving out the essence of being human. This collection is like something I imagine Kelly Link or George Saunders might write if you left them alone in the dark for too long. Recommended By Emily F., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A searing new collection from the inimitable Amelia Gray.
A woman creeps through the ductwork of a quiet home. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town. Amelia Gray's curio cabinet expands in Gutshot, where isolation and coupling are pushed to their dark and outrageous edges. These singular stories live and breathe on their own, pulsating with energy and humanness and a glorious sense of humor. Hers are stories that you will read and reread &a#8212; raw gems that burrow into your brain, reminders of just how strange and beautiful our world is. These collected stories come to us like a vivisected body, the whole that is all the more elegant and breathtaking for exploring its most grotesque and intimate lightless viscera.
"The minute details of life are memorably rendered in surreal and sometimes grotesque ways....[Gray] takes familiar elements and pushes them toward an eerie, transgressive place....This is Gray's fourth book (and third story collection), and it features the widest stylistic range of any of her books to date....Grim, bittersweet...comic...and emotionally harrowing. The best of Gray's stories find that balance between devastation and humor and navigate an uneasy territory with agility."
"Strange, fable-like, and physical, Gray's stories are driven by uncanny forces and set in organic yet unnatural worlds....Masterly gathering of forces [are] at the heart of the collection: black humor brushes up against abject tragedy, desperation and abuse, longing loneliness, and even hopeful peace. Gray dazzlingly renders the wide array of human experience in these potent, haunting stories."
"In Gray's (Threats, 2012) latest unique, punchy collection, she melds the inexplicable with everyday realities....Gray's bountiful five-part collection incorporates tales and vignettes both absorbing and unconventional....While eccentricities are on display, Gray's stories also deftly capture the startling moments when her characters pull off their armor and reveal their genuine selves." Booklist
"The stories in Gutshot, also aptly named, get at you right in the viscera, full of bodily fluids and strange sights and smells. They often end not with a neat tying-up of the various elements, but as if something exploded, like dynamite breaking down a door....But Gutshot is not all swagger and shock-there's a softness hiding under the derangement, a visible tenderness for her troubled characters that have found themselves lost in the margins of existence, that becomes all the more affecting as it moves with and against the character's sharp edges." Vice
About the Author
Amelia Gray is the author of AM/PM and Museum of the Weird, for which she won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. Her first novel, Threats (FSG Originals, 2012), was long-listed for the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize and short-listed for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Ninth Letter, Hobart, Poets & Writers, Lucky Peach, American Short Fiction, GOOD, Guernica, Annalemma, Sonora Review, VICE, McSweeney's, Los Angeles Review of Books, and DIAGRAM, among others. She received a BA from Arizona State and an MFA from Texas State. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently working on a novel.