Planet Grim — Interviews, Reviews

A woman muses on the influential men in her life, and the enduring significance of white pants. A grisly trial for a murder in which a son witnessed his mother s stabbing forces a juror to come to terms with the absence of her missionary son. A young father tries to resist lusting after his adoptive son s birth mother at a Mothers Day picnic. A widow tends to the garden of her mother-in-law to ameliorate their shared grief. In twenty-eight stories that draw blood while making you laugh, PLANET GRIM, the debut collection of Alex Behr, is a vivid, unsettling portrait of the gritty fringes of San Francisco and Portland, where complicated characters long for connection just out of reach. Behr is an idiosyncratic, unpredictable prose stylist with an edge and willingness to cut to the bone that makes her writing truly original.

PLANET GRIM will be out on 7.13 Books on October 12, 2017. Available at indie bookstores or at this thunderstorm of commerce.

Interviews and Stuff

Grab the Lapels: Meet the Writer … “I added stories that were from free-writing, diary entries, found letters, and quotes from friends to blow through the pressure of what a story or book experience should be. If I had the money or means I would do even more (art, scratch-and-sniff, videos, music, etc.).”

Reviews

Dead End Follies … My favorite story in Planet Grim was perhaps The Garden, which is about the memory of a fire and warped reality of trauma. It’s a beautiful story about the most surreal moment in a normal person’s life and muted aftermath. The Garden is disarming in its simplicity, yet crackling with underlying tension and things left unsaid.”

The Rumpus “What to Read When You Need Some Good News”

Book designer Gigi Little on the creative process

Goodreads giveaway

Electric Lit includes it on their 2017 Great Indie Press Preview

The Big Other includes it on their Most Anticipated 2017 List

Steph Post’s List of Fall 2017 Titles

(“I was waiting in the bar, where were you?”)

 Advance Praise


Alex Behr’s Planet Grim turned me inside out. No, really, these stories of eros and ids getting loose, inner contradictions and desires crashing into each other like marbles, brutal instances of violence up against a moment of tender beauty, the people and lovers and mothers and families in this book are carved from the guts of us. What sits dead center at this hybrid of self and other is, mercifully, an unbeaten heart.

—Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan

“Alex Behr’s imagination is wild, rigorous, and totally unique. I haven’t been able to decide if her stories are comedies intercut with horror or horror stories leavened by comedy, but when they’re this entertaining, who cares?”
—Tom Bissell, Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve

“Alex Behr’s characters are conflicted, uncertain, and pained. What’s so compelling about her fiction is how she honors that conflictedness, explores the uncertainties, and examines the pain until it reveals itself as irreducibly human and therefore a kind of grace.”
—Dan DeWeese, You Don’t Love This Man and Disorder

“In Alex Behr’s funny poignant stories the kids are sharp, fearless, and insatiable, the parents conflicted, lustful, and tough. The meaning of family and love is an epic game nobody can win or stop playing.”
—Mary Rechner, Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women