Catapult Signed Copy
Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, Catapult follows Emily Fridlund's acclaimed debut novel History of Wolves. Sometimes calculating, at other times bewildered, Catapult's characters orbit around each other, enacting a deeply human tragicomedy of wit, misunderstanding, and loss. With dexterous, atmospheric, and darkly comic prose, Fridlund conjures worlds where longing is open-ended, intentions misfire, and the line between comfort and cruelty is often difficult to discern. This is a gripping collection, unsettling as much in its familiarity as in its near-gothic strangeness.
Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva, Five Chapters, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. Fridlund's first novel, History of Wolves (Atlantic Monthly Press), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a #1 Indie Next pick.
"Eleven stories of misshapen families and broken friendships disturb and unsettle. Fridlund follows History of Wolves (2017), her marvelous and preternaturally accomplished first novel, with a collection of jarring and polished short fiction. The craft is evident in the perfect titles and the observational acuity of the sentences. . . .Her stories evoke Flannery O'Connor's masterly way with grotesquery but deviate in Fridlund's contempt for faith. Bracing, often brilliant stories deliver a shock to the routine narratives we tell."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This powerhouse of a first collection . . . is notable for its deft mix of humor and insight. " --The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice, "7 New Books We Recommend This Week"
“Eleven brilliant short stories showcase childhood, adolescence, marriage, and families, and how the appearances of these events and relationships in life can hide the strangeness and emptiness that pervade beneath the surface. . . . Fridlund unpacks these situations with such thoughtful diction and complex characters that her subdued and controlled language sets what is unsaid at the fore, unveiling hope, despair, and the paradoxes that are often ignored in such close relationships. Fridlund’s intelligent and conversational voice impressively manipulates the emotional atmosphere of her stories.”
--Booklist, starred review
“Fridlund’s ability to conjure humor in the darkest moments is clear in her blending of sitcom set-ups with bleak undercurrents. Her breathtaking prose and sly expressions make for compulsive reading.”