The Dominant Animal

Kathyrn Scanlan

£9.99

Paperback

Daunt Books Publishing > Fiction

ISBN: 9781911547563

Published April 2020 by Daunt Books Publishing

Description

A collection of innovative and ambitious short stories from a visionary young writer

In The Dominant Animal – Kathryn Scanlan’s adventurous, unsettling debut collection – compression is key. Sentences have been relentlessly trimmed, tuned and teased for maximum impact. A ferocious attention to rhythm and sound results in a palpable pulse of excitability and distress.

In these forty very short stories, the ordinary shifts into the uncanny: in living rooms and in hotel rooms, on suburban lawns and on the surgeon’s chair, characters – human and animal – eat, breathe, provoke and injure one another. Grandmothers sit tethered to the couch in a blue spell, lonesome men crouch among thorny shrubs, pets expire slowly or suddenly, and the nature of love is questioned at a golf course, a flower shop, an all-you-can-eat buffet.

With exquisite control, Scanlan moves from expansive moods and fine afternoons to unease and violence. Disturbances accrue as the collection progresses. No mercy, a character says – and these stories are merciless and strange and absolutely masterful.

‘A brilliant, unsettling collection of quick, sharp & searing stories that asks the reader how humane humanity actually is — a particularly apt question in our newly strange world.’ Financial Times

‘Some of the most exciting short stories of the year were to be found in Kathryn Scanlan’s The Dominant Animal, with its fiercely sculpted sentences and unnervingly off-kilter scenarios.’ Guardian, Best Fiction of 2020

‘Deeply, enjoyable. ..On rereadings I found the stories to be both more beautiful on the surface, with finely made sentences that are sonically & rhythmically compelling, and more profoundly affecting at a deeper level of feeling.’ – David Hayden, Guardian

‘The legendary short story, often attributed to Ernest Hemingway – “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” – is regularly wheeled out as evidence of what a talented writer can do with a mere six words. Kathryn Scanlan’s The Dominant Animal will surely be a new reference point for flash fiction.’ Lucy Scholes, i

‘Scanlan can make a sentence do the work of a page.’ – Chris Power, Guardian

‘These are sentences written in stone – to be read out loud or learned by heart.’ Irish Times

‘Kathryn Scanlan’s debut collection of short stories, is an incredible work of world-building. Its forty stories work together to ‘deepen and darken’ the world in which they are set.’ Stinging Fly

‘Brisk, incisive, and brutally shocking, these stories will leave you awestruck.’ – Book Riot, Literary Highlights for 2020

‘Unusual, finely judged and wrought work… [Kathryn Scanlan] has reminded us of the beauty that can be discovered in the ordinary and in ordinary speech.’ –  Lydia Davis on AUG 9—FOG

The Dominant Animal left me feeling uneasy, off-balance and immeasurably better for having read it.’ –  Julia Armfield, author of salt slow

‘Elegantly spare yet exhilarating… A startling, arresting debut.’ – Nicole Flattery, author of Show Them a Good Time

‘Micro short stories about dogs, surgeons, florists often told in one and a half pages. Occasionally eerie or comic but brilliant.’ — Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations

‘In these flawless, gripping, beautiful stories Kathryn Scanlan gives us a picture of life’s true uneasy heart.’ – David Hayden, author of Darker with the Lights On

‘I read The Dominant Animal in a single sitting and finished it hungry for more of the mercurial, singular, surprising magic Kathryn Scanlan is creating.’ – Megan Nolan

‘All of life’s absurdities and violences are here, dressed up and pulsing with an inimitable energy and intellect that sticks.’ – Rachael Allen, author of Kingdomland

‘Kathryn Scanlan comes to us as an oracle when we have never before been so desperately in need. The truths of our human affliction divulged in these icily precise, immaculately impolite, genius-spooked stories will undo you for your own good.’  Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way

‘Kathryn Scanlan whittles sentences into weapons.  The stories in The Dominant Animal are not cuddly; the dog jaws the baby like a bone; and humans, just as easily, gnaw at animals and other humans.  Just as easily, the stories turn into poems, the wind blows through them and “scatters” us.’  Christine Schutt, author of Pure Hollywood

Delivery options

Orders are processed and dispatched Monday to Friday.

Estimated Dispatch Times:

Items are usually dispatched within twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Dispatch time does not include delivery. If one or more items are not available when you place your order there may be a delay in dispatch, so that we can send your items in as few parcels as possible. 

Latest UK Delivery Estimates

  • 1st Class - 1-2 working days
  • 2nd Class -  2-3 working days
  • Free Click and Collect at Daunt Books Marylebone

Latest International Delivery Estimates

  • Europe - Standard 7-10 working days
  • Europe - Tracked and Signed 4-7 working days
  • Rest of the World - Standard 15-20 working days
  • Rest of the World - Tracked and Signed 10-15 working days

UK Christmas Delivery Times

Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe. 

UK Final Posting Dates

  • 2nd Class - Saturday 18th December 2021
  • 1st Class & 1st Class Signed - Monday 20th December 2021

International Standard & International Tracking and Signature Services

  • Monday 6th December - Australia, Greece, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal
  • Wednesday 8th December - Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Far and Middle East
  • Friday 10th December - Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and Sweden
  • Monday 13th December - Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland and USA
  • Thursday 16th December - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

Overseas Delivery Information

We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin.

Overseas Customs

If you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to import duties and taxes, which are levied once the goods reach the country of destination.

Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be paid by you. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. We recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order as this changes country to country. 

Additional information

Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 20 × 13 × 5 cm