Book details

Animal Person


Author: Alexander MacLeod

Animal Person

Animal Person


About This Book

Alexander MacLeod’s highly anticipated second collection Animal Person, carries us to the edge and then waits, for just a second, in that pure moment of stillness between desire...

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Book Details

Alexander MacLeod’s highly anticipated second collection Animal Person, carries us to the edge and then waits, for just a second, in that pure moment of stillness between desire and action.

She’d been wandering, badly, for a very long time. Most days, she saw herself as a forever busy person who always had too much to do. Too much of everything and not enough time. But then, suddenly, it could turn around and she’d feel like a person who had nothing at all. One sensation might follow right after the other or, sometimes, both arrived at the same time. Too much and nothing. Or too much, then nothing.

Alexander MacLeod’s writing contains “a rare kind of truthfulness” (Colm Tóibín). In this collection, his stories recenter the focus of human drama. An empty-nest couple, separated after years of coexisting, find themselves pulled into the dreams of their silent, gazing rabbit; a mysterious passenger wanders through the caverns of a 1970s LA airport in search of a missing suitcase; a proud great-aunt refuses to apologize as she works to find the right place for everything in her crowded senior’s complex. In the adjoining motel room, a serial killer plans his next move. A petty argument between two sisters is interrupted by an unexpected visitor.

For MacLeod, the rhythm of our days is continuous, even relentless. Yet among its beats and measures, across the passing years and seasons, he finds moments of pause, sharp points of inflection, and flashes of clarity that illuminate our closest relationships and our most desperate needs.

Animal Person sets off the full-bodied, fully felt experience of the everyday with true literary mastery.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



In The News

"Meticulous . . . MacLeod’s second collection abounds with crystallized moments in time." —Kirkus Reviews

"These stories center on moments—some dramatic, some seemingly small—when lives are altered irrevocably. MacLeod is a gifted stylist, and all the more impressive for his subtlety. While each story in Animal Person is memorable, “The Closing Date” is the volume’s masterpiece, and one of the most powerful and unnerving stories I have ever read." —Ron Rash, author of In the Valley

Animal Person is easily the most compelling and captivating collection of short fiction that I have read in many, many years. It is humorous, suspenseful, compassionate, entertaining, mysterious, even wise, but it is also a book that doesn’t shrink from plucking the chord of anxiety that has become the bass note thrumming in the twenty-first century. A virtuoso performance by a writer in the vanguard of contemporary short story writers.” —Guy Vanderhaeghe, author of August into Winter

“Alexander MacLeod is a writer of extraordinary subtlety. The pleasure in these stories is as much in the journey as the destination.” —David Bezmozgis, author of Immigrant City

A talent so vivid.” —Souvankham Thammavongsa, author of How to Pronounce Knife

“These tender, funny and ever-surprising stories all hint, in one way or another, at the impermanence of everything--and how impossible that impermanence always seems when you're caught up in the pulsating bloodstream of life." —Lynn Coady, author of Hellgoing

About the Creators

Animal Person

Animal Person