Belly Up is a story collection that contains ghosts, mediums, a lover obsessed with the sound of harps tuning, teenage girls who believe they are actually plants, gulag prisoners who outsmart a terrible warden, and carnivorous churches. Throughout these grotesque and tender stories, characters question the bodies they've been given and what their bodies require to be sustained.At the intersection of the surreal and the real, Rita Bullwinkel has carved out a unique space in which the mundane and the strange cohabitate and sometimes frolic. The sharp, precise writing and careful observations of the human condition in her excellent first collection Belly Up signal the debut of a major new talent. Jeff VanderMeerThese stunning stories take place in the spaces between ordinary objects and events. They are mysterious, strange, and fearlessly funny in their expression of human isolation, and they contain the existential surprises of great literature. Belly Up is a powerful debut by an unusually gifted writer. Lorrie MooreBullwinkel's delightful, passionate stories of disturbance and worried words have the best kind of frenetic energy. Deb Olin Unferth...
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Belly Up Reviews
These stories are unapologetic, fam. Mysterious, slippery, never dull — Belly Up is an astonishing debut.
I’m glad I read this book, these stories. All a little disturbing but in a good way.
Initially the short sentences seemed too stop and go for me, but then they evoked a mood of belief, of realness through the fiction.
First things first: I received a copy of Belly Up by way of a Goodreads Giveaway. (Thanks to Jill at A Strange Object for the thoughtful note.)
Bewitching. Bizarre. Quirky. Strange. Dark. Light. Surreal. Poetic. These are all words I could use to describe Rita Bullwinkel's debut story collection, but they would hardly do it justice. Perhaps the phrase "story collection" doesn't aptly describe this book, either. Indeed, these stories contain characters and plot lines (sometimes). In Belly Up, Bull ...more