In a striking first collection of stories, Cris Mazza brings a startling vision to the familiar terrain of intimate relationships. The eleven stories in Animal Acts describe characters navigating an unsteady course through the turbulence of sexial desire. Set in unmistakably American landscapes--from sprawling West Coast cities to the dry, dusty scrub of rural Southern California--the work is populated by gym teachers, aging flower children, secretaries and artists--most of them strong, willful women. The narrator of the title story holds the guests at a party spellbound with her fantastic retelling of another woman's perverse life--which may, in fact, be her own--thereby seducing a man who has previousley eluded her. Mazza's arresting narrative structures and sharp sense of the absurd make for a dazzling debut collection.
Cris Mazza (born 1956) is an American novelist, short story and non-fiction writer. She directs the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
At the meat counter -- Dead dog -- Erasable ink -- At least he didn't play a tuba -- Piano lessons -- Animals don't think about it -- Making things happe -- Nervous dog -- The dove hunters -- Shut up -- From hunger -- Animal acts.