DAUGHTERS OF MONSTERS
A raw and magical book of spells, an honest yet harrowing look at the wonder and threat of the world.
In these 17 short stories, a toxic cloud sweeps west to east across the country, devouring all in its path. Past versions of a man show up at the birthday party he's thrown himself. A lonely trucker delivers two-headed angels as part of a money-making scheme. And, in the title story, a daughter of monsters awaits her coming-of-age.
"If you follow your imagination far enough, you break through into the center of your own heart. This is a trick not many have mastered; Melissa Goodrich does it every single time."
—Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
"In Daughters of Monsters, Melissa Goodrich picks up the world as we know it and spins it on the tip of her finger. She adds a bit of torque with each story, and you start to wonder if it's going to fall. It never does."
—Colin Winnette, author of Haints Stay, Coyote, Fondly, and Animal Collection
"These stories zoom toward our planet from the Oort cloud that is Melissa Goodrich's brain. The tales are prismatic and sweetly perturbing, and the language is lemniscate. Like your little brother and sister in a house of mirrors, Goodrich plays tag with your tongue. Tighten your Kuiper belt, sweethearts. This is a fabulous ride."
—Catherine Zobal Dent, author of Unfinished Stories of Girls
praise for daughters of monsters
Daughters of Monsters by melissa goodrich
"Goodrich has poet-level skills in both decription and lyricism, and in “Daughters of Monsters,” she unloads image after image of what these so-called monsters look like, from their beaks to their feathers to the slimy aftertrails. [...] I was riveted to every part of this, surprised over and over again, and read the story three times, finding something new each pass.
Most of the stories I read in Daughters of Monsters had the same effect on me as the title piece, daring, innovative pieces of fiction that introduced me to a strong and distinct new voice."
18 best books of 2016
"Daughters of Monsters is a collection of short stories that all contain hints of the weird and the wonderful, in an almost dystopian fashion. It’s musical in its format, with shorter, easier stories providing breaks from the more complex stories like small interludes, and each tale having a slightly surreal twist or setting.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a bit of a break from realism: it’ll introduce new and exciting ideas to you, which will creep up on you again in daydreams."
Recommended Reading 2016
"The surreal and lyrical stories in Goodrich’s debut collection are what the transformation sequences in werewolf movies aspire to: visceral, transfigurative, mesmeric, and brutally beautiful."
The Massive, Strange Shape of a Story: A Conversation with Melissa Goodrich
James Tadd Adcox, Make Literary Magazine
"A onetime student of writer Kate Bernheimer, Goodrich shares Bernheimer’s interest in fairy tales, with a strong dose of formalist experimentation and stunningly lyrical writing; her stories can often feel like long prose poems, their narratives moving with the associative logic of dreams."
Amber Sparks's Five flash fiction writers
Amber Sparks, VELA
"Her stories are electric—seriously, I could identify her writing anywhere because of the sheer insane bright white energy pouring out of it. Please read her. Please read this sentence—‘All of the boys in school are breaking their hands’—and then TRY NOT TO READ THE REST OF THAT STORY. Just try."
Daughters of Monsters by Melissa Goodrich
Trent Chabot, Heavy Feather Review
"Goodrich has created a world in her collection, a world that warrants a second look. Goodrich’s stories are the insane conspiracy theories the drunk guy at the party won’t shut up about. The one you roll your eyes at and laugh off, taking another swig from your red solo cup and move on to the next person to talk to. But they’re the same conspiracy theories you mull over in your head for days after."
Book Review: Daughters of Monsters
Carolyn Decarlo, Necessary Fiction
"It is the women in Daughters of Monsters who dismember animals in times of distress, from
Elsa’s toad in “Lucky” to Papa’s unhatched chicks in “For Good,” and without remorse, as in the titular story... Because women aren’t made to be loved in Daughters of Monsters. Some of them are horrible, morally and physically, and that’s truly beautiful."
Fore-Side Chats: May Edits
Carolyn Decarlo, Real Pants
"Daughters of Monsters is a wonderful debut short story collection, full of apocalyptic narratives delivered by flood, poison gas, and the double whammy of snow storm and animals growing to gigantic proportions... Melissa’s imagination is wild, and her stories are uncontained. "
Book Review: Daughters of Monsters by Melissa Goodrich
Augusto Corvalan, The Masters Review
"Goodrich writes that magic is what ‘makes something happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen.’ That’s a perfect encapsulation of how Goodrich approaches her stories, mixing elements that shouldn’t blend, then adding magic into the testube. Atoms rearrange, new substances are created. We see new worlds, we receive new eyes."
Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2016
"She is a harbinger of the dizzying strange scenario, sometimes genre bent, but just as Ioften unprecedented. One of my favorite stories in the book is “Anna George,” which supposes that “[y]our parents go on a trip overseas and your mother comes back as an orange and your father doesn’t come back at all,” and unravels from there, but treats the subject with the utmost sincerity. Daughters of Monsters also sees a family fleeing a wall of toxic gas for several pages, and has siblings running through recently acquired superpowers—as if rivalries weren’t complicated enough."
BOOK REVIEW: Daughters of Monsters by Melissa Goodrich
Georgie Evans, Cultured Vultures
"I can only describe the book as the Tim Burton of short story collections – I don’t really understand everything, I can see their relevance to each other as a compilation as well as each tale’s individual cleverness, but most importantly I like it. The chaos of occasionally nonsensical yet raw stories succeeded at intriguing me and forcing me to search for hidden meanings and representations, with images and ideas that will no doubt keep me occupied."
Featured Book: Daughters of Monsters
David Atkinson, The Lit Pub
"I found the stories in Daughters of Monsters to be wild and wonderful, plenty to dazzle while still having plenty to think about. There’s a great deal of poetry to the language of the stories as well, making them as intriguing on a microcosm sentence level as they are on a macrocosm plot level."