Although these books can be found at all the major outlets, the links in the text take you to Indiebound, so you can support local booksellers. In an age of increasingly aggressive corporate reach, this is more important than ever. Alternatively, you can also order signed and (if you want) personalized copies directly from Malaprop’s, my own local bookstore. Here are those links: North American Lake Monsters, Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell, and, while supplies last, the few remaining copies of “The Visible Filth,” in the now out-of-print This Is Horror edition. (A slightly revised version of the story exists in Wounds.) Please let the staff at Malaprop’s know if you want them signed and personalized, and we’ll take care of you. Otherwise, they’ll arrive unsigned.
In his first collection, North American Lake Monsters, Nathan Ballingrud carved out a distinctly singular place in American fiction with his “piercing and merciless” (Toronto Globe and Mail) portrayals of the monsters that haunt our lives—both real and imagined: “What Nathan Ballingrud does in North American Lake Monsters is to reinvigorate the horror tradition” (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Now, in Wounds, Ballingrud follows up with an even more confounding, strange, and utterly entrancing collection of six stories, including one new novella. From the eerie dread descending upon a New Orleans dive bartender after a cell phone is left behind in a rollicking bar fight in “The Visible Filth” to the search for the map of hell in “The Butcher’s Table,” Ballingrud’s beautifully crafted stories are riveting in their quietly terrifying depictions of the murky line between the known and the unknown.
Nathan Ballingrud’s Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection, North American Lake Monsters, is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche. Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject. They are us and we are them and Ballingrud’s intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible.
These are love stories. They are also monster stories. Sometimes these are monsters in their traditional guises, sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, or ourselves. The often working-class people in these stories are driven to extremes by love. Sometimes, they are ruined; sometimes redeemed. All are faced with the loneliest corners of themselves and strive to find an escape.