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3.5 

A Manual for How to Love Us

By Erin Slaughter
A Manual for How to Love Us by Erin Slaughter digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A debut, interlinked collection of stories exploring the primal nature of women’s grief—offering insight into the profound experience of loss and the absurd ways in which we seek control in an unruly world.

Seamlessly shifting between the speculative and the blindingly real, balancing the bizarre with the subtle brutality of the mundane, A Manual for How to Love Us is a tender portrait of women trying their best to survive, love, and find genuine meaning in the aftermath of loss.

In these unconventional and unpredictably connected stories, Erin Slaughter shatters the stereotype of the soft-spoken, sorrowful woman in distress, queering the domestic and honoring the feral in all of us. In each story, grieving women embrace their wildest impulses as they attempt to master their lives: one woman becomes a “gazer” at a fraternity house, another slowly moves into her otherworldly stained-glass art, a couple speaks only in their basement’s black box, and a thruple must decide what to do when one partner disappears.

The women in Erin Slaughter’s stories suffer messy breaks, whisper secrets to the ghosts tangled in the knots of their hair, eat raw meat to commune with their inner wolves, and build deadly MLM schemes along the Gulf Coast.

Set across oft-overlooked towns in the American South, A Manual for How to Love Us spotlights women who are living on the brink and clinging to its precipitous edge. Lyrical and surprisingly humorous, A Manual for How to Love Us is an exciting debut that reveals the sticky complications of living in a body, in all its grotesquerie and glory.

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10 Reviews

3.5
Loudly Crying Face“This books is a series of short stories that give the reader a glimpse into different women's lives at different stages in their lives. Each story seems to find a woman at a crossroads or difficult moment and so many of those experiences found the scarred parts of my heart. Slaughter's writing is descriptive and often breathtaking. There were so many lines that put my own feelings and thoughts into beautiful words. For me, as I listened to this audiobook, I never really felt completely blown away, but when I reached the end, I found that I was sad it was over and wanted more stories. It was only then that I realized how much I was truly invested in this book and how I will hold it with me long after I finished reading it.”
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingComing of ageHeartbreakingThought-provoking
“The Box was a super cool concept that ended up disappointing me. Same with the Watching Boys story, I loved the idea but the actual execution could have been SO much more interesting. However, this is sort of out of my wheelhouse so I could be not very literary informed. Side note: why is every short story female protagonist in a feminist anthology married to an aloof boring man named Josh or Matt?”

About Erin Slaughter

Erin Slaughter is the author of two poetry collections: The Sorrow Festival and I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun. She is editor and co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook press The Hunger, and holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University. Originally from Texas, she lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she is a PhD candidate at Florida State University.

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