Animal Truth and Other Stories is a collection of eco-fabulist tales in which adventures with fantastic animals and real science lead to metamorphoses of the heart. Familiar legends, from Faust and Oedipus to werewolves and time travel, appear in radically new ways: An artist obsessed with species extinction unwittingly summons a demonic double when he creates a "banquet" featuring a baked mermaid. A brilliant woman studying a rare fish makes a soul-shattering discovery about motherhood. A time-travelling billionaire escapes his modern life only to have his heart broken by a lovely creature in Earth's remote past.
Each tale in this collection turns into gold the prickling straw of anxieties about our continued life on the planet. By turns playful, terrifying, haunting, and sensuous, these stories inspire wonder at the interwoven lives of human and nonhuman beings.
"The balance of reality and unreality in these mind-twisting tales is sure to delight fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s eco-fiction.”
"Animal Truth and Other Stories is a collection of six intimate, magical realist stories with an ecological bent, as patient and poignant as they are unsettling and fascinating." —Alice Martin, Shelf Awareness
“A literary feast, a surreal world of imaginary animals and dreams … hauntingly blurry and pointed at once.”
—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams
“Sharona Muir takes us back and forth in time, traveling eons into the past and forward to a dystopian future …. Her prose has the depth and complexity of myth and the visceral power of poetry.”
—Stuart Kestenbaum, author of Things Seemed to Be Breaking
“Muir’s stories are disturbing visions of art and science, dreams and ambitions, folly and frailty.”
—Olivia Judson, author of Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation
Sharona Muir's debut novel, Invisible Beasts, was praised in O, the Oprah Magazine, as a 'Title to Pick Up Now,' and was a finalist for the Orion Prize. She is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry; the Alfred Hodder fellowship from Princeton University; three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence fellowships in fiction, nonfiction and poetry; and other awards. Muir has authored five books including a memoir from Random House/Schocken Books and a first volume of poetry from Harper & Row. Other writing has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and numerous other periodicals.