* If you subscribed to And Other Stories by Tuesday 21st January 2020, you will have received 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 more about our subscriptions.
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.
- You can read another excerpt of Barn 8, here, as featured in Granta Magazine.
- Check out Deb Olin Unferth’s notes on crafting Barn 8
- Deb Olin Unferth has written this piece for Lithub on the surprising benefits of anthropomorphising and how she came to have a chicken as a major character in Barn 8. It is a great insight into the process of writing the book too.
- If you missed Deb Olin Unferth’s virtual book launch in conversation with bookseller Sam, at Burley Fisher, you can catch it here.
- Deb Olin Unferth was in conversation with Jessica Anthony on political writing in the Irish Times
‘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.'
‘Full of grit, humour and tenderness.’
The Guardian Book of the Day
‘Aesthetically perfect and philosophically profound . . . the chicken-related writing is a force unto itself.’
'Written with vim and wit, Barn 8 is a highly enjoyable treatment of a worthwhile social issue.'
'Non-chronological and ornithological, it leaps forwards to a charred and toxic future when chickens have outlived mankind, and back to the first fowls who shared the planet with dinosaurs.'
‘[Unferth’s] prose is intricate and vibrant . . . Characters are brightly drawn, dialogue is snappy. [Barn 8] reads like a comi-tragic manifesto of our age.’
‘Barn 8 is a slyly effective absurdist comment on a country that consumes a staggering 75 billion eggs a year.’
‘A wild and pacey novel [that] also contains complex depths. Unferth is a playful and digressive writer with a keen psychological insight.’
‘Utterly absorbing . . . brilliantly executed. A contender for book of the year.’
‘Unferth deftly balances [the horrors of the American egg industry] with a playful tone and a rich lattice of viewpoints and insights . . . she sets out to capture everything, from the life of the individual hen to the churn of the natural world.’
‘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