March 2018 Indie Next List
“It is a rare thing when a collection of short stories absolutely blows your mind, and Andreasen's collection packs a wallop. His uncanny world-building, using animals and strange mythologies to describe a world so much and slightly unlike our own, gives him the gift of nailing such deep concepts and providing such profound insights into the human character. How can we explain to aliens the difference between 'having relations' and 'having a relationship?' When an ideal exists that we all strive for, what will our lives be like if we actually achieve it? Magnificent, enchanting, and full of literary verve.”
— Raul Chapa, Book People Bookstore, Austin, TX
An astonishing fiction debut from a UC Irvine MFA graduate and recent contributor to The New Yorker. Bewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn't mean she isn't still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future's carefully planned extramarital affair ends in alien abduction and network fame doesn't mean he can't still pine for his absent wife. Romping through the fantastic with big-hearted ease, these stories cut to the core of what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing, whether in the form of a lovesick kraken slowly dragging a ship of sailors into the sea, a small town euthanizing its grandfathers in a time-honored ritual, or a third-grade field trip learning that time travel is even more wondrous--and more perilous--than they might imagine. Andreasen's stories are simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds that convey our common yearning for connection and understanding. With a captivating new voice from an incredible author, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.
About the Author
Michael Andreasen holds a Masters degree in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. He lives in Southern California. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is his first book.