Author(s): Kathryn Scanlan
'Shh, said the surgeon. Over my face, his gloved hand hung - you could even say it twitched. Then, with two fingertips, he pushed the lids of my eyes shut. You've seen this move before - some man, overcome with shame, unable, for selfish reasons, to look at what he's done.'
Anonymous people in anonymous towns; mothers screaming inside their houses, unapologetic doctors, mournful dogs, hungry girls, grandmothers on the couch tethered in a blue spell, steaks in soft sacks of blue blood, rare breeds of show cats in big black sedans, baby rabbits beneath heavy boots; and lonesome men crouched among the thorny shrubs and the rough, wild grasses... This is the singular vision of Kathryn Scanlan. With the economy of Lydia Davis and Grace Paley, and the unsettling verve of Mary Gaitskill and Claire-Louise Bennett, The Dominant Animal is a powerful and much-anticipated first collection. 'No mercy', says one of Scanlan's characters, and that is how it feels to encounter these stories. Morbid humour, tender horror - no comfort here, only a startling, uncompromising voice that is here to stay.
Kathryn Scanlan lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in NOON, Granta and Fence, and is forthcoming in The Paris Review. She's received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Centre and the Tin House Summer Workshop, and her story 'The Old Mill' was selected by Michael Cunningham for the 2010 Iowa Review Fiction Prize. She has degrees in painting, writing, and English from the University of Iowa and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her debut novel, AUG 9-FOG, a literary adaptation of a found diary, was published by FSG in 2019.