Animals in Peril

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by Ryan Kenealy

A long-awaited debut collection of stories from an author who’s mystified by what moves the human heart, Animals in Peril explores our relationships with animals, other people, and ourselves.

Representing the furry, the feathered, the four-legged and the winged, the cast of Animals in Peril includes a coronary thrombotic shih tzu from Chicago, a junko that flies into a skyscraper, a decapitated skunk in Ohio, and a runaway roan, depicted in black-and-white watercolor images by the author. At times humorous, melancholic, and self-reflective, these Midwestern stories examine the love we extend to our pets, how we project human complexities upon animal behavior, and how little we actually know about the 1.5 million species of animals with whom we share this planet.

"These precise, rueful stories reminded me of William Maxwell, another writer whose geography— both emotional and physical—is rooted in the American midwest. Kenealy's foundational tone is innocent and sly, an unusual combination, and his characters, incredulous at the hand fate has dealt them, are resilient under the pressure of their circumstances. Animals in Peril creates a world in which I want to linger."
—Thomas Beller, author of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist and Seduction Theory

"You think you might know the territory of the stories that make up Animals in Peril,but you don't. Each one tricks you, brilliantly, into some strange and luminous consciousness. Here, the short story is alive and it reminds you that you are too."
—Amina Memory Cain, author of Dorothy and I Go To Some Hollow

"Ryan Kenealy’s prose runs not like a machine, but like an animal moving beneath the skin. His stories stake their ground west of Michigan Avenue and east of Ashtabula, a space that refuses an easy compromise with the world that yaps, whinnies, and howls around and within us."
—Garin Cycholl, author of Hostile Witness

Ryan Kenealy lives in Chicago with his wife, his twin sons, and his cat. He began his career selling novelty items at a flea market on a dirty street near Cleveland Hopkins Airport and has since worked for the circus and sold pot roast in Japan. His work has appeared in Open City, Another Chicago Magazine, and Bridge, among others. This is his first book.

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Poets & Writers

Pages: 178
ISBN: 978-1940430065
Publication Date: August 2014

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