What does it mean to be at home? Are we ever truly alone in our houses?
In “Twisted,” a woman loses her best friend’s daughter while an old acquaintance is on trial for murder; “Nectar and Nickel” introduces readers to a young girl who digs up the corpse of the family cat and comforts herself with macabre fairy tales. She meets a boy in the woods and turns him into part of her game. In “Garden Bed,” secrets are buried in the garden plot with the best of intentions, but they are dug up by a fox who watches and sees everything. Haunted bodies, haunted houses, and haunted relationships colour this collection to show us that our homes are not our own. We are only guests.
“Surfaces deceive. LeBlanc’s deliciously creepy stories revel in pushing past the limitations of the body, of the domestic, and of the known even when this means guts are going to spill. In the tradition of writers such as Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, and Lisa Tuttle, these stories disorient and slide from the familiar and dreamy and into the nightmarish in the most thrilling of ways. LeBlanc kidnaps the reader and takes them on an unforgettable, screamingly great ride.” – Suzette Mayr, winner of the Giller Prize
“Amy LeBlanc’s Homebodies is like a slow, sliding kaleidoscope of dreams. A series of glimpses into strained, disjointed families and communities, the book follows a network of disquieting characters with wounds—both figurative and very literal—that fester and pulse. The stories feel like admissions, like muffled secrets passed behind closed doors. They are fragmented but nonetheless full—dense and swollen with the characters’ blunted fears, their stark needs. LeBlanc’s writing is a shudder running through the body: a sensation that is visceral, reflexive, and inescapable. Like a boa snake constricting, like peristalsis, these stories will swallow you whole.” – Erica McKeen, author of Tear
“Amy LeBlanc’s uncanny, open-ended stories perfectly capture the ambiguous anxieties of our pandemic times. This is an engrossing, contemporary, well-arranged collection with novelistic immersiveness.” – Seyward Goodhand, author of Even That Wildest Hope