Animal Wife

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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 widow invites a bear to hibernate in her den. These are the stories of Animal Wife, Lara Ehrlich’s collection of stories about women’s transformations from girls into wives, mothers, and monsters. 

Many of these stories have been published in literary magazines, including F(r)iction, Hunger Mountain, and StoryQuarterly, and Lara’s work has been recognized with many awards and fellowships; most recently, Animal Wife received Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award, judged by New York Times-bestselling author, Ann Hood, who called the collection “sensual and intelligent, with gorgeous prose.” Animal Wife has been praised as “remarkable” by Lit Hub, who said “the collection is a standout in a season full of amazing new releases.”

Recognition & Awards

Red Hen Press Fiction Award judged by Ann Hood

Forward Indie Award Finalist

People are Saying…

These stories, and Ehrlich, are remarkable, and the collection is a standout in a season full of amazing new releases.”

Literary Hub

It is no surprise that Animal Wife is the winner of the Red Hen Fiction Award. Through gorgeous, searing prose, Ehrlich has created a cast of unforgettable heroines who rail against the unfair societal expectations that confine them. By telling their stories with beauty, nuance, truth, and magic, she has finally set them free.”


Whimsy and fantasy meet the way things really turn out in stories from a strong new voice.”

Kirkus Reviews

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

Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Obituary Writer

Strange, funny, fearsome, Animal Wife is a gorgeous book, weird in its very bones.”

Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway

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

Ehrlich writes about teenagers finding their way in an alluring yet frightening world and women whose discontent manifests in mind-boggling ways.”

Bostonia Magazine

Lara Ehrlich is a master stylist of the surreal, the fabulist, and the fantastic. I loved each of these whimsical, magical stories….Really lovely and thought-provoking. Perfect for fans of Aimee Bender, Karen Russell, and Angela Carter.”

Joy Baglio, Director of the Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop

[Animal Wife] has a dreamy, slightly dark quality delivered through confetti-shower prose and a roll call of richly creative characters in narratives that would do Kelly Link and Italo Calvino proud.”

The Day

I’ve liked this collection as much as any new collection I’ve read in 2020, and predict this will be on my top-of-the-year list when it’s all said and done.”

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