Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award
Told with perfect rhythm and unyielding brutality, these stories expose unsuspecting men and women to the realities of nature, the primal instincts of man and the dark humour and heartbreak of our struggle to not only thrive, but survive. In Girl on Girl , a high-school girl goes to disturbing lengths to help an old friend; in Meteorologist Dave Santana , an insatiable temptress pursues the one man she can’t have; and in the title story, a long fraught relationship comes undone when three friends get impossibly lost on a lake that is impossible to get lost on. In Diane Cook s perilous worlds, the quotidian surfaces conceal darkly surreal elements that illuminate our more curious, troubling and bewildering behaviour.
“Sharply written and imaginative...Cook is an accomplished writer with a darkly comic touch...As with the short fiction of Stephen King and Miranda July, many of the bizarre tales in Man V. Nature would make for excellent viewing...brilliant...echoes of Margaret Atwood.” IRISH TIMES
“A deeply original collection...deliciously unsettling...downright chilling...uncomfortably resonant.” INDEPENDENT
“Exhilarating… quirky, often edged with menace… understated dystopia… Cook’s is a fresh and vivid voice; it’s unsurprising the likes of Miranda July and Roxane Gay are fans.” OBSERVER
“Masterly.” NEW YORK TIMES