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Bad Houses

Bad Houses

By John Elizabeth Stintzi
Categories: Fiction, LGBTQ+ Literature, LGBTQ+, Trans Literature
Paperback : 9781551529615, 264 pages, 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03


A boisterous collection of surreal, darkly humourous short stories that will delight fans of George Saunders and Kelly Link

From John Elizabeth Stintzi, the mind that created the daringly bizarre novel My Volcano, comes an electrifying collection of strange and dark tales.

In the surreal, often precarious realities of Bad Houses, a doctor discovers a double-edged cure for the Ebola virus, a college student loses a different body part each time they return home for the summer, Midas's hairdresser strives to keep his secrets, and a young girl develops a fascination with the trolls who harvest her father's pumpkin patch. At once humourous and horrifying, these stories will inevitably take residence in your mind.

Present throughout Bad Houses is a deep and abiding sense of humanity sprinkled with a dash of alienation, guilt, and instability. Filtered through a fabulist lens, these stories contemplate the struggles of modern existence. Each character lives their own haunted life, trying to navigate the path from bad houses to good homes.

Featuring Stintzi's own expressive ink illustrations, Bad Houses is a book that feels like it was penned by a trans Alice Munro mixed with a bubblier Franz Kafka. Enter if you dare.


These modern-day fairy tales are a seamless mesh of the familiar and the surreal - a cocktail that mirrors the oddness and absurdity of everyday life. -Peter Deligdisch, visual artist and creator of Peter Draws

Stintzi paints a portrait of our current moment from a dizzying array of vantage points. A poet laureate of calamity. -Michael DeForge, cartoonist of Birds of Maine

Bad Houses is a rare, incomparable collection, surreal yet firmly anchored to the mechanics of contemporary living. Mimes, dismemberment, pumpkin patch trolls, creatures made of mould and laundry - these are not run-of-the-mill stories, and yet in every case, John Elizabeth Stintzi's depth of feeling and concern for what it means to be in the world right now shines through. This is a work of art in just about every sense. -Omar El Akkad, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of What Strange Paradise