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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Her Body Among Animals

by (author) Paola Ferrante

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Short Stories (single author), Feminist, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it


In this genre-bending debut collection merging horror, fairy tales, pop culture, and sci-fi, women challenge the boundaries placed on their bodies while living in a world “among animals,” where violence is intertwined with bizarre ecological disruptions.

A sentient sex robot goes against her programming; a grad student living with depression is weighed down by an ever-present albatross; an unhappy wife turns into a spider; a boy with a dark secret is haunted by dolls; a couple bound for a colony on Mars take a road trip through Texas; a girl fights to save her sister from growing a mermaid tail like their absent mother.

Magical yet human, haunted and haunting, these stories act as a surreal documentation of the mistakes in systems of the past that remain very much in the present. Ferrante investigates toxic masculinity and the devastation it enacts upon women and our planet, delving into the universal undercurrent of ecological anxiety in the face of such toxicity, and the personal experience of being a new mother concerned about the future her child will face.

Through these confrontations of the complexity of living in a woman’s body, Her Body Among Animals moves us from hopelessness to a future of resilience and possibility.

About the author

Paola Ferrante is a writer living with depression. Her debut poetry collection, What to Wear When Surviving a Lion Attack (2019), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize. She has won Grain Magazine's Short Grain Contest for Poetry, The New Quarterly's Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, Room Magazine's Fiction Contest, and was longlisted for the 2020 Journey Prize for the story “When Foxes Die Electric.” Her work appears in After Realism: 24 Stories for the 21st Century (2022), Best Canadian Poetry 2021 (2021), North American Review, PRISM International, and elsewhere. She was born, and still resides in, Toronto.

Paola Ferrante's profile page


  • Nominated, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards

Editorial Reviews

“Elegant and arresting, the eleven modern fables in Paola Ferrante’s Her Body Among Animals thrum with a desperate, racing pulse as they capture the everyday horrors women live with and the sacrifices—of personhood, opportunity, and safety—their ordinary lives require.” —Foreword Reviews

“A tour de force of storytelling, a powerful, challenging, rewarding experience.” —Toronto Star

“There is no filler here; each story is devastating, brilliantly imaginative, and almost impossible to summarize neatly. Ferrante is a vital new voice in short fiction.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"These stories are electric. Ferrante approaches the short story as a full and beautiful form in itself; while her subject matter is quite dissimilar to the great Alice Munro, her stories are similar in that they contain whole worlds." —The MIramichi Reader

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