The Body Farm


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9781640096264 | Hardcover 6 x 9 | 304 pages Buy it Now

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9781640096271 | Ebook | 304 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

The long-awaited new book from the critically acclaimed author of The Lightkeepers and The Wildlands: an intense and insightful collection that celebrates the horrors and joys of inhabiting our bodies

The body cannot tell any lies. From birth to death, and through all the transitions in between, the body stores our knowledge and history, our feelings and experiences. Our betrayals. These insightful and empathetic stories, from the critically acclaimed author of The Last Animal, shine new light on our physical vessels set against our physical world, two landscapes irretrievably connected and altered over time.

An entomologist solves cold cases and upholds a sense of justice by studying the decay of corpses in a field and the insect life they develop. A caregiver obsesses over a stained-glass lampshade to deal with the elegiac losses of Alzheimer’s. A sister with webbed fingers highlights the often-universal belief that our siblings just might be creatures brought forth from the deep. The memory of a scent evokes the haunting legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These eleven stories display Abby Geni’s great capacity to take us into the lives and experiences of others to scrutinize the physical self: birth, childhood, transition, mental health, trauma, aging, illness, love, sex, and death.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

The Orange County Register, A New Spring Book You Won't Want to Miss
Chicago Review of Books, A Most Anticipated Title

"Abby Geni's new short story collection, The Body Farm, dissects physical abuse, sexual orientation, neurodivergence, illness and murder—and holds the same dualistic fascination . . . In addition to Geni's dramatic writing, what really makes these stories sing, despite the often-difficult subject matter, is the sheer variety of home truths to be acknowledged about the body and our moment-to-moment consciousness, our very perception of ourselves, and the world. These are perhaps concepts we might 'know,' but perhaps rarely fully appreciate. The Body Farm is a truly remarkable collection." —Jeffrey Condran, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"There are so many reasons to put Abby Geni’s new book at the top of your 2024 most-anticipated list . . . There’s her uncanny ability to write the body in all its horrors and joys . . . The lingering hauntings of the COVID-19 pandemic echo through The Body Farm, as Geni takes readers on a journey through the physicality of our bodies and the spirits they carry." —Michael Welch, Chicago Review of Books

"Destabilizing and beautiful. A rich experience." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Stunning . . . If readers are craving an exceptional collection of short stories, Geni will grant their wish." —Booklist (starred review)

“The stories in The Body Farm brim with empathy and imagination. The characters in this collection—from a girl who believes her older sister is a selkie, to a woman who was bitten by a tiger shark and dares to dive again, to a family of women who worry the men who cross their paths are cursed by death, to a planetary geologist who understands the movements of the solar system better than the actions of her alcoholic husband—contend with both the vulnerability and the resiliency of the human body. This book reminds readers that the best short stories have the incredible power to swiftly build absorbing worlds and to populate them with complex, engaging characters. The Body Farm is an extraordinary collection.” ––Karin Lin-Greenberg, author of You Are Here

"The beautiful, daring stories in The Body Farm are tender tales of humans attuned to the natural, physical, and imagined worlds, and Abby Geni writes so deftly, and with such wisdom, about how we negotiate our histories, flaws, and secret longings. My own world felt expanded by her keen gaze. A remarkable collection.” ––Edan Lepucki, author of Time’s Mouth