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A Manual for How to Love Us
A Manual for How to Love Us by ​Erin Slaughter
by ​Erin Slaughter

Price: $18.99


New York, NY: Harper Perennial (March 14, 2023)



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 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.

Erin Slaughter is the author of the short fiction collection A Manual for How to Love Us and two books of poetry, The Sorrow Festival and I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun. She is editor/co-founder of The Hunger, and her writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Craft, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, and other outlets. Originally from Texas, she holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University and is a PhD candidate at Florida State University, where she was awarded the Edward H. and Marie C. Kingsbury Fellowship. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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