In Something About the Animal, Cathy Stonehouse's first collection of short fiction, the world keeps coming apart at the seams: these are stories of imminent and often destructive crisis, which in their form and structure capture the hysterical edge of hallucinatory madness in a way few writers have ever managed. These are stories about the search for meaning, of fragile, haunted understanding; real life horror stories, stories bleakly, blackly humorous, but also imbued with real hope, generosity, and beauty; stories simply not reducible to cover copy. Cathy Stonehouse is a nightmarishly gifted author, and Something About the Animal is that rather magical exception to the rule; a truly breathtaking, unforgettable debut.
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In Something About the Animal, Stonehouse emphasizes algebra over fire, often to a fault. The complicated technical gymnastics in these stories contribute to the alienation a reader feels. In this sense, she has perhaps been too effective for her own good.Read Full Review of Something About the Animal | See more reviews from National Post arts