Charting surreal and yet familiar worlds where hope and horror co-exist, Monster is ruthless, weird, dark and funny. These 32 stories explore loss, addiction, love and breakdown with unsentimental economy. Stories concern mothers losing or leaving children, relationships dangling by a thread or exploding. Some characters are institutionalised, others are profoundly lonely. Some just wander around - lost, while others are filled with shocking violence. There is joy here, too, and a kind of blazing intimacy in this debut collection of tough, tender and unflinching stories.
Ashleigh Synnott lives in Sydney. Her stories, poems and essays have appeared in publications such as Meanjin, Overland, the Long Paddock, and Antipodes. Monster is her first book.
"Synnott has a rare gift for mixing light and dark, a love of outsiders and of inner worlds that soon becomes addictive. The stories in Monster pierce the skin, pick at wounds, and break through to the mysteries of embodiment and desire with a strange power. This is a writer who's not afraid to aim for the guts." - Jennifer Mills
"Monster takes us into unexpected corners of the imagination, a place inhabited by misfits and dreamers, innocents and lost souls, who take us by our necks and shake us around." - Debra Adelaide
An astonishing writer. Synnott's immense empathy for her outsiders and her fearless ear reminded me of George Saunders. - Delia Falconer
Strange, haunting, beautiful. - Sunil Badami
These stories strip away the facade of contemporary life to show what lies beneath. So true they take your breath away. - Eleanor Limprecht