Borrow
Buy

My Father was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water

by Michelle Steinbeck

This short, coming-of-age story is a disturbing, bizarre fairy tale that disorientates you with surprises and shocks in its hallucinatory, toxic-coloured world. Rules of plot and narrative don’t apply as the absurdist prose fluctuates between nightmares and a comical quest for the meaning of life. A modernist mash-up, audacious and psychologically profound.

Extract

A pregnant woman stands in the doorway. She looks as if she’s about to burst.
I’m Loribeth, I say, I’m looking for my father – your husband?
He’s not here, the woman says and presses her hands into her lower back.
Where is he?, I ask, I have to give him his suitcase back.
He wants to swim in the sea, the woman says, not in the swimming pool.
I nod. She yawns and runs a hand over her taut belly.
It’s kicking, she says, it’s turning – she runs two fingers under her breasts back and forth – it’s dragging its foot here.
My father doesn’t want any children, I say. He never wanted children, he didn’t even want me.
Translated by Jen Calleja

Parallels

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
 

Read Extract

Books with similar rating

Borrow

1. Select UK region:

Not in the UK?

Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

Sign in

 
Email:
 
Password:

Whichbook Sign Up

Enter your email address to get started:

First name:
Last name:
Password:
Confirm password:

Alerts

Email alerts are only available for registered users.