"Terror Birds" tracks the dissolution of a marriage set against an ostrich farm in the sweltering Arizona desert; "Dharma at the Gate" features the tempest of young love as a teenaged girl must choose between man's best friend, her damaged boyfriend, and a beckoning future; "Captivity" follows an octopus handler at an aquarium still haunted by the disappearance of her brother years ago; "The Girls of Apache Bryn Mawr" details a Greek chorus of Jewish girls at a summer camp whose favorite counselor goes missing under suspicious circumstances; "In the Spirit Room" centers on a scientist suffering the heartbreaking loss of a parent from Alzheimer's while living in the natural history museum where they both worked; in "Fire Blight" a father grieving over his wife's recent miscarriage finds an outlet for comfort in their backyard garden and makes a surprising discovery on how to cherish living things; and in the title story, a retired woman traces the steps of the husband who left her thirty years ago, burning the letters he had sent along the way, while the luminous and exotic wildlife of the Pacific Ocean opens up to receive her.
Unflinching, exciting, ambitious and yet heartfelt, "The Last Animal" will guide readers through a menagerie of settings and landscapes as it underscores the connection among all living things.
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The Last Animal by Abby Geni is that rare literary find — a remarkable series of stories unified around one theme: people who use the interface between the human and the natural world to contend with their modern challenges of love, loss, and family life. These are vibrant, weighty stories that herald the arrival of a young writer of surprising feeling and depth.