The Flat Woman
128 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:12 Nov 2024

The Flat Woman

A Novel

University of Alabama Press, Fiction Collective 2

In The Flat Woman, women exclusively are blamed for the climate crisis. Seagulls drop dead from the sky, and the government, instead of taking responsibility, scapegoats a group of female ecoterrorists. When a girl’s mother is incarcerated for climate crimes, she is forced to raise herself alone. As a young woman, she begins a romance with an environmental activist whose passion makes her question her own role in the world. By turns hilarious, deadly serious, and completely absurd, The Flat Woman asks who gets the right to call themselves a good person in a world ripe with disaster.

Driven by complex academic and moral questions, The Flat Woman is certain to appeal to fans of feminist and experimental literature, as well as fans of Margaret Atwood, Renee Gladman, Bhanu Kapil, Maggie Nelson, Kelly Link, and Anne Carson.

‘Richly textured and chillingly poetic, The Flat Woman is filled with pure enthrallment. A mother, a child-like woman, an Elvis impersonator, and an aunt—all caught in an intricate web of seagull terrorism, spattered with ash and feathers—plunges the reader into an intricate and inscrutable collision of forces.’
—Vi Khi Nao, author of Swimming with Dead Stars
With deft efficiency, Vanessa Saunders lets a mini-matrix of motifs and characters mirror a society's worth of ecological, political, and personal crisis. A beautifully constructed work of feminist realism.’ —Nell Zink, author Avalon

Vanessa Saunders is a professor of practice at Loyola University New Orleans. Her hybrid work, fiction, and poetry has appeared in Seneca Review, Los Angeles Review, Sycamore Review, Passages North, and [PANK] among others. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she received her MFA from Louisiana State University.

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