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Man v. Nature


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About the Author

Diane Cook is the author of the novel, THE NEW WILDERNESS, which was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and the story collection, MAN V. NATURE, which was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, The Pen/Hemingway Award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Harper's, Tin House, Granta, and other publications, and her stories have been included in the anthologies Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She is a former producer for the radio program This American Life, and was the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, daughter and son.


"Man V. Nature could also be called Diane Cook V. The Challenges of Writing Fresh, Invigorating Fiction in Our Age. In the latter contest, Cook crushes. Here is a bold debut."--Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land
"Man V. Nature is as close to experiencing a Picasso as literature can get: the worlds in Diane Cook's impressive debut are bizarre, vertiginous, funny, pushed to the extreme-but just familiar enough in their nuances of the human condition to evoke an irresistible, around-the-corner reality."--Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife
"Man v. Nature may be Diane Cook's first book, but the former 'This American Life' producer's work is impressively precocious-making it our favorite short-story collection of October. . . . These stories are absurdist in the vein of George Saunders, hyped-up and often just plain weird, meaning if you're a Saunders fan (and you are, right?), you'll probably appreciate these stories too."--GQ
"A knockout...every single story could make a great movie...'Somebody's Baby' completely captures the crippling, animal-like vigilance of early motherhood. I had to put the book down and just sob, and I was thrilled at the same time, thinking: 'It works! This medium really works!'"--Miranda July, New York Times Book Review
"Beautifully written dystopian short story collection."--Jezebel
"Diane Cook's stories are like high-wattage bulbs strung across a sinister, dark land. Man V. Nature is equal parts dazzle and depth."--Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born
"Diane Cook's writing is sharp, bawdy, bold and often hilarious. Her stories are refreshingly crude and her imagination is unbounded. Like her characters, Cook does what she wants. Her world is another universe, where people are wilder."--Rebecca Curtis, author of Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money
"Here's a good rule: If Diane Cook wrote it, read it. . . . Safety is tenuous, if not an illusion, in her thoughtful, unsettling, and darkly funny collection."--Boston Globe
"I couldn't pry myself away from MAN V. NATURE . . . The stories are grim, violent, and darkly funny, but never so far removed from our most human urges to seem TOTALLY implausible."--Buzzfeed, 5 Great Books to Read in December
"In her masterful debut, Diane Cook reimagines our own lives if we were forced to play by nature's rules. Each darkly comic modern fable reveals our societal preoccupations...for what they really are: thin veneers over our ever-present animal selves, ready to crack at the merest provocation. A book that'll grab your attention and keep you thinking."--Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni
"It's a curiously exhilarating experience to pick up a story collection by a new author and become seduced by the writer's original voice and vision. This was exactly what happened when this reader sat down with the darkly comic and sad stories of Diane Cook's debut collection.... Like the best kind of fiction, the reader is left with much to think about within the broad realms of sex, death, love and friendship."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Lively, apocalypse-tinged tales. . . . Cook mines the moments that precede the losses--when the battles are truly raging--and it's in them that she finds great beauty and strangeness. . . . And, in the end, this collection suggests, meaning might be worth the battle."--New York Times Book Review
"Seethes with heat, rejection and twisted perception...I found myself enthralled by all of the stories in this collection. Not only are they surprising, but also fresh, funny, sad, often surreal and oddly true."--Omnivoracious
"This debut story collection takes the familiar narrative conflict and applies it to contemporary characters. The capriciousness of the natural world in Cook's stories colors them with a Romantic, almost surreal light that fans of Megan Mayhew Bergman are sure to appreciate."--Huffington Post, Best Books of the Fall
"This week, I have been reading the most astonishing book, Man V. Nature by Diane Cook. The stories are surreal, with the sharpest edge and in one way or another, each story reveals something raw and powerful about being human in a world where so little is in our control."--Roxane Gay
"What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place."--Ira Glass, Host, This American Life
"When people ask me the desert island question, I usually say this is the book I'd bring...Her stories about survival amid the brutalities of nature are bracing primers for the apocalypse.--San Francisco Weekly, 10 Bay Area Women You Should Read Now

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