Kathryn Scanlan

Kathryn Scanlan’s work has appeared in NOON, Granta, Egress and New York Tyrant amongst others. She’s received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Tin House Summer Workshop, and her story “The Old Mill” was selected by Michael Cunningham for the 2010 Iowa Review Fiction Prize. She has degrees in painting, writing, and English from the University of Iowa and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Her first book Aug 9–Fog was published by FSG in 2019 and her debut collection of stories The Dominant Animal was published by FSG and Daunt Books Originals in 2020.

Selected praise:

‘Unusual, finely judged and wrought work . . . [Kathryn Scanlan] has reminded us of the beauty that can be discovered in the ordinary and in ordinary speech.’ – Lydia Davis

“Kathryn Scanlan comes to us as an oracle when we have never before been so desperately in need. The truths of our human affliction divulged in these icily precise, immaculately impolite, genius-spooked stories will undo you for your own good.” – Gary Lutz

“A deeply enjoyable book . . . atmospheric with fear and shock, threat and disorientation . . . Through the power of her vision, Scanlan takes hold of the world and gives it to the reader with an intensity that is, paradoxically, both strange and familiar . . . Scanlan requires that the reader remain sharply vigilant: a feeling that lingers long after finishing the book and will, perhaps, be part of what draws people back.” – David Hayden, The Guardian (Book of the Day)

“Every word is precise and brutal . . . [A] sense of metamorphosisi combined with the fact that no technology is mentioned throughout, gives her stories a timeless, fable-esque quality . . . [The stories] are enigmatic, unsettling and tinged with body horror; funny, cruel and minutely repulsive in places. But they are also cinematic, with strange images that are as ephemeral as they are memorable . . . a brilliant, unsettling collection.” – Lucy Watson, Financial Times 

“[Scanlan’s] work offers its own canted mix of eroticism and absurdism, its own gnarled comedy of gender and class . . . At their best, her stories make other writers’ work seem fatty and uptight . . . Scanlan’s stories tell you almost nothing—which, in these cacophonous times, is the mark of a true radical.” – Jeremy Lybarger, 4Columns

“Kathryn Scanlan whittles sentences into weapons. The stories in The Dominant Animal are not cuddly; the dog jaws the baby like a bone; and humans, just as easily, gnaw at animals and other humans. Just as easily, the stories turn into poems, the wind blows through them and ‘scatters’ us.” – Christine Schutt