Felt in the Jaw
by Kristen Arnett
publication date: September 11, 2017
—Winner of the 2017 Coil Book Award
In her debut story collection, Kristen Arnett, with dark humor, explores the lives of queer women and their families in the light of the bleak Florida sun. A young dancer suddenly loses language while her family struggles to understand their new roles. A mother endures a horrifying spider bite while camping with her daughters in the backyard. A family reunion goes sour when a group of cousins are left to their own devices. In these ten stories, outward strength is always betrayed by deep vulnerability: these are characters so desperate for family and connection that they often isolate themselves--and sometimes, it's the world isolating them.
Praise for Felt in the Jaw:
"Kristen Arnett’s stories are miracles of subtlety and propulsion. Suffused with a visceral sense of dread, they invariably fold out into startling moments of affection, sadness, or (dare I say) grace. Like Flannery O’Connor without the religious preoccupation or occasional garishness, the stories in Felt in The Jaw are deeply American. They are also sublime."
— Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine and co-founder of The Los Angeles Review of Books
Kristen Arnett is the queer author of With Teeth: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2021) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and the New York Times bestselling debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She was awarded a Shearing Fellowship at Black Mountain Institute and was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize recognizing mid-career writers of fiction. Her work has appeared at The New York Times, TIME, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, Guernica, Buzzfeed, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. She is represented by Pande Literary Agency.