Animal Wife

Coming from Red Hen Press Sept 2020

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Animal Wife is a collection of stories about women’s transformations, from girls into wives, mothers, and monsters. Winner of the Red Hen Press Fiction Award, judged by Ann Hood, Animal Wife will be on shelves September 8, 2020.

“Sensual and intelligent, with gorgeous prose, [Animal Wife] made me dizzy…”—Ann Hood


About Animal Wife

“In villages where women bore most of the weight of a constricted life, witches flew by night on broomsticks,” said Italo Calvino of the way imagination bridges the gap between everyday existence and an idealized alternative. The 15 stories of Animal Wife are unified by girls and women who cross this threshold seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds.

A girl born with feathers undertakes a quest for the mother who abandoned her. An indecisive woman drinks Foresight, only to become stymied by the futures branching before her. A woman becomes psychologically trapped in her car. A proofreader cultivates a cage fighting alter ego. A girl acts on her desire for a childhood friend as a monster draws closer to the shore. A widow invites a bear to hibernate in her den.

Many of the stories from Animal Wife have been published in literary magazines, including StoryQuarterly, Hunger Mountain, F(r)iction, and The Normal School, among others.


“The stories in Animal Wife are gorgeous and heartbreaking. They glide into each other, refract, and expand outward again, echoing seasons and change and longing. They cause astonishment and wonder.”

Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things

“Ehrlich is a master observer of the magic and mystery that lurk at the edge of our lives. [She is] a startling and undeniable new talent in the world of genre-breaking fiction.”

Blair Hurley, author of The Devoted

“Ehrlich has compiled a new wave of fairy tales, all swamp-mossy and feathered.”

Hunger Mountain