by Laura Eppinger
A clever vampire hides her secret by convincing her lovers that they have bedbugs. The Jersey Devil fans conspiracy theories in a world shut down by a pandemic. A haunted house, newly decorated in a minimalist style, wishes for more clutter to throw at its inhabitants. Laura Eppinger’s flash collection Loving Monsters gives voice to the supernatural beings who are just as confused in our modern world as the mortals who made it. It turns out that even becoming undead is no substitute for a good couples’ therapist.
Content Warning: violence, suicide, domestic violence, eating disorders, death, body shaming
“The best thing about a Laura Eppinger story is the way it makes you laugh in the moment before you suck in your breath in painful recognition. In these monstrous stories, the couples are hilarious, are wounded, are horrifying, are us. Eppinger captures the darkness (and the moments of light!) of these relationships with a skilled, light touch. This is a magical collection.”
author of Ghosts of You
“Loving Monsters isolates and unsheathes the horror-kitsch burrowing in every toxic relationship. Siphoning extracts from the source to find what kind of contagions it might instigate. Eppinger’s work fluctuates with ease, shifting from foreboding to mischievous and back again.”
author of Gut Text and Smut-Maker
“In the brilliant, twisted world of Loving Monsters, the supernatural constantly bumps shoulders with the mundane. A 50-foot woman describes her unexpected growth spurt in a series of Twitter threads. A perfectionist housewife takes a night off and transforms into a raging beast. Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, a devil cruises conspiracy theory websites. These flash fictions blend magical realism and social satire as they bring traditional monsters into the world of contemporary technology. Freed of their gothic castles, these are the monsters next door: a murderous vegan, a vampire with body issues, a ghost haunting a house furnished by IKEA. Each brief story is its own world, filled with unexpected detail and, often, touches of dark humor: ‘What did it have against humus?’ a forlorn husband wonders as a ravening beast attacks the plastic compost rotator in the back yard. As always, the monsters most to be feared are those that live in our own human hearts.”
author of Girls on Film and flash fiction editor of Cleaver magazine
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• Flash Fiction | Short Stories
• 4” x 6” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Little Pigeon Series Chapbook
• Cream Paper, 60 Pages
• Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-946580-28-3
• Paperback ISBN-10: 1-946580-28-7
• First Edition: August 31, 2021
• Short URL: tinyurl.com/eppingermonsters
• Read Excerpt Sample
• Request Review Copy
Cover design by Leah Angstman, with photograph by Emsalgado.
LAURA EPPINGER (she/her) is a Pushcart-nominated writer of fiction, poetry, and essays. Her work has appeared at The Rumpus, The Toast, and elsewhere. She’s the journal editor at Newfound and knows that the Jersey Devil is real. Visit Laura at lauraeppinger.blog.
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