Music from a Strange Planet

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Published by: Caitlin Press
Release Date: May 20, 2022
Pages: 200
ISBN13: 978-1773860589


Barbara Black’s stirring debut brings readers the strange, the unexplained, and the magical in this collection of twenty-four genre-bending short stories. Taking a deep look into the psyche of the human soul, each story bends reality just a little to get to the heart of our greatest fears and deepest desires. An awkward child envisions herself as a darkling beetle; a solitary man falls in love with a porcupine; an insomniac dentist and a former acrobat find each other in the depths of night, and much more. Black is a skilled conjurer of inner worlds. With a masterfully crafted tone and a register that ranges from contemplative to comic, the immersive stories in this collection take readers on a journey that is sometimes heart-breaking, always humane, and utterly unforgettable.


Reader Guide

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“These exhilarating stories, quick and sharp and tender, breach the barrier that separates civilized and wild, human and non. Senses fuse, flesh is transfigured; characters come to themselves at moments of metamorphosis, modulating to new forms of life. Barbara Black’s magic is the kind that illuminates.”
—John Gould, author of The End of Me

“Barbara Black’s debut collection, Music from a Strange Planet, offers tales of obsession and transformation in which the melding of character with the phenomenal world is nothing less than astounding. With a surgeon’s exacting skill, she lays bare the often-strange music of the human heart.”
—M.A.C. Farrant, author of One Good Thing: A Living Memoir

“Be prepared. Be very prepared and preferably with your inner antennae on high alert as you enter into this translucent, transcendent, Kafkaesque world of illusions. Black goes beyond spider-like weaving as she spins her tales. Unusual, unorthodox, but always unique, they will stick to you.”
—Cathleen With, author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison


Coming soon!