This coming Sunday is the Lunar New Year (timed to match with the second full moon after the winter solstice), when the Year of the Tiger will become the Year of the Rabbit. According to the Chinese zodiac, those born in the Year of the Rabbit are earnest and forthright, generous and cautious, rash and loyal, tender and easily irritated. To celebrate, I thought I’d pull together a list of “rabbit” books with similar, often-contradictory characteristics.
This book is as fun and surreal, riotous and unnerving. Set at an MFA program (spooky in its own right), writer Samantha is pulled into a co-dependent, cult-like clique of fellow writers. For readers who may have wished The Secret History had felt more like a fever dream, or who love their dream-like sequences with a side of snark. So bizarre. So great.
Cursed Bunny is a story collection filled with stories that play with genre (including but not limited to body horror, sci-fi, and fable). The stories look at power structures, trauma, and the general horror of existing in this world (to name only a few of its many topics). It is a surprising, fulfilling, and thrilling collection, beautifully translated by Anton Hur.
Set at an artist’s colony and a home in the Berkshires, Little Rabbit follows a questionable (“sticky”) affair between a domineering choreography and a young writer. It raises questions about agency, love, desire, boundaries, and evisceration and has been rightfully compared to Conversations with Friends and Luster. A blistering, addicting read.
A coming-of-age story that manages to be equal parts dark and funny, precocious and innocent. In the wake of losing her mother, 10-year-old Elvis (named for the King of Rock and Roll because they share the same birthday) is faced with a world that feels incomprehensible: her dad and sister are behaving in strange ways and her small town is filled with larger-than-life characters. Elvis walks through her world with wide-open eyes, narrating her way through frankly and (often) humorously. Rabbit Cake is a wonderful, surprising book.
For more, check out this original essay author Annie Hartnett wrote for us upon the publication of Rabbit Cake: Lessons I Learned From Dolly Parton on a Creative Life
Rabbit Hutch is an incredible, kaleidoscopic, strange, intense, hilarious book, told in a series of stories that swirl around a young woman named Blandine and the semi-rundown building where she lives. The characters are so incredibly, intimately rendered, I've been thinking about them ever since I finished the book, wondering what they might be up to now.