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Man V. Nature

From the Booker-shortlisted author of The New Wilderness

Diane Cook

*SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2015*

SHORTLISTED FOR THE LA TIMES BOOKS PRIZE 2015

A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE NOTABLE BOOK OF 2014

A BOSTON GLOBE BEST FICTION OF 2014

ROXANE GAY’S TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2014

AN AMAZON BEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION OF 2014

AN iBOOK BEST OF 2014

Perfectly pitched and gorgeously penned, this astonishingly bold collection of stories explores the boundary between the wild and the civilized. Pitting human beings against the extremes of nature, Diane Cook surgically peels back the layers of civilization to lay bare our vulnerabilities and the ease with which our darker, primal urges emerge.

These exhilarating and terrifying tales are set in worlds that are distorted versions of our own, where an alpha male is pursued through city streets by murderous rivals, a marooned woman defends her house against the rising flood and hordes of desperate refugees, and a pack of not-needed boys take refuge in a murky forest and compete against one another for food. Wry, transgressive and utterly unique, Cook’s wildly inventive debut collection illuminates, with surreal humour and heartbreak, humankind’s struggle not only to thrive, but survive.

  • Publication date: July 2, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786078858
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 288
  • Publication date: August 6, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780748160
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 272

Reviews

'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

'These are grimly funny stories; dark but dizzyingly alive.'

Sunday Express

'Makes for compulsive reading...these tales dizzy and trick...chilling and darkly comic'.

New Statesman

'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

'Cook's stories gleefully tip a familiar-seeming world into something dark, dangerous and funny'. 

Psychologies

‘A knockout ... every single story could make a great movie.’

New York Times Book Review, Miranda July

‘As close to experiencing a Picasso as literature can get.’ 

Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife

‘Astonishing.’

Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

‘Quirkiness abounds, with several fairy-tale tropes thrown in for good measure ... Some stories jump off the page ... all are oddly charming.’ 

Publishers Weekly

‘I couldn’t pry myself away from Man v. Nature ... The stories are grim, violent, and darkly funny, but never so far removed from our most human urges to seem TOTALLY implausible.’

Buzzfeed

Diane Cook

Diane Cook is a novelist and short story writer. Her collection, Man v. Nature (Oneworld, 2015), was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the L.A. Times Book Prize. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House and Granta, and been anthologised in Best American Short Stories. Her debut novel The New Wilderness was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. She lives in Brooklyn.

Author page

More books by Diane Cook

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