Deb Olin Unferth is the author of six books, including Barn 8 and Wait Till You See Me Dance. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and the Paris Review.
'Deb Olin Unferth's hilarious genius is on dazzling display in this novel. Come for the brilliant insights about our faltering civilization. Stay for the revolutionaries and the chickens. You are really really going to love these chickens . . .'
'Barn 8 is a novel like no other: An urgent moral fantasia, a post-human parable, a tender portrait of animal dignity and genius.'
‘A daring writer of wit, imagination, and conscience, Unferth has transformed her foray into hen hell into an adroitly narrated, fast-paced, yet complexly dimensional novel about emotional and environmental devastation . . . Unferth sharply illuminates the contrariness of human nature, celebrates the evolutionary marvels of chickens, and exposes the horrors of the egg industry . . . [A] vividly provoking and revelatory work of ecofiction spiked with mordant humor and powered by love.’
‘Ignited by her fiery wit and distinctive voice, Unferth's novel uses one of America's most valuable and overlooked institutions as fertile ground to raise questions around the truths people are fed and the ones they turn a blind eye to. . . . Unferth's writing never feels patronizing—more than anything, it's galvanizing. . . . If this novel isn't a movement, it has enough heart to start one.’
‘In this outrageous piece of rural noir and pitch-perfect characterization, Unferth recalls Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang with a dose of vegan-minded quirk. This entertaining, satisfying genre turn shows off Unferth’s range, and readers will be delighted by the characters’ earnest crusade.’
'Like Flannery O’Connor, Deb Olin Unferth does things entirely her own way, and that way is impossible to describe. . . . This very funny and absurd novel is also as serious as the world.'
'I leap to read anything Deb Olin Unferth writes, and her latest book, Barn 8, is further proof of her singular talent, her gigantic heart. While Unferth’s characters try to save hens, her miracle of a novel might, in turn, save you.'
Praise for Wait Till you See me Dance
One of The Brooklyn Rail's Best Books of 2017 One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Short Fiction of 2017 One of Electric Literature's 15 Best Short Story Collections of 2017 One of Largehearted Boy's Favorite Short Story Collections of 2017 ‘This assemblage of down-and-out moments is delivered with a wit and concision reminiscent of Lydia Davis and Diane Williams, a wry intelligence and keen irony that don’t prevent Unferth’s prose from offering deep emotional intimacy . . . Again and again in these pages, Unferth swerves from the mundane to the extraordinary, from biting to soaringly celebratory, often in a single sentence.’ The New York Times Book Review 'One of the most important voices in fiction’s long-awaited collection of short fiction is a fascinating must-read.' Newsweek ‘[Unferth’s] absurd and tender story collection is full of sentences like clear glass doors, and you, reader, are the bird . . . The way she writes [her characters] is reminiscent of the unsentimental, often absurd, compassion of George Saunders . . . The multiplicity of feeling is wonderful; it’s like she’s swirling all these different colours of paint together but stops while it’s all still just thinly marbled together.’ NPR 'No one can resist Unferth’s masterful distortion of the American dream with a set of unforgettable mistake-makers who aren’t quite past redemption.' Courtney Maum, CNN Travel