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Deb Olin Unferth

Barn 8

One disaffected administrator, one disenchanted teenager, four hundred and twenty-one vegan extremists, sixty trucks, and nine hundred thousand grumpy layer hens awaiting liberation. In barns. Six barns. No, wait, seven. No, wait …

Two auditors for the US egg industry conceive a plot to liberate an entire egg farm’s worth of animals, with catastrophic results. This wildly inventive but utterly plausible novel about a heist of a very unusual kind swirls with a rich array of voices: a farmer’s daughter, hundreds of activists, a forest ranger who stumbles upon forty thousand hens, and a security guard abandoned for years on a farm. We glimpse the evolution of chickens twenty thousand years from now. We hear what hens think happens when they die.

And at the heart of this more-than-plucky novel lies the question: what constitutes meaningful action in a world so in need of change? With towering ingenuity, eviscerating wit, and unflappable passion, Barn 8 is a true rare breed, a comic-political drama, and a tour de force for our time.

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Paperback: £9.99
Ebook: £6.99

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* If you subscribe to And Other Stories by Tuesday 21st January 2020, you will receive your copy of Barn 8 – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – in March 2020, before its official publication, as well as up to five other specially selected And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.

All subscribers receive their subscription copies before the books are available in bookshops, and we give them little extras to say thank you. It could be a postcard or two designed by the book’s author, translator or designer, or an exclusive edition not available via bookshops, or – as will be the case for Barn 8 – a little fold-out leaflet of art & articles related to the book.


Print status: Upcoming
Original language: English
Format: B-Format Paperback
Publication date: 9 April 2020
ISBN: 9781911508885
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508892
Availability: UK & C (excl Canada) and non-exclusive Europe.
Number of pages: 304


Dana Spiotta

'Barn 8 is a novel like no other: An urgent moral fantasia, a post-human parable, a tender portrait of animal dignity and genius.'

Jenny Offill

'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 . . .'

Zachary Lazar

'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.'

R.O. Kwon

'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. . . . Unferth’s book is rich with surprises, small and large. . . . 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