Wild Failure

Short Stories

by Zoe Whittall

On Sale: 05/14/2024

Wild Failure

Enlarge Book Cover

Wild Failure

Short Stories

by Zoe Whittall

On Sale: 05/14/2024


About the Book

In Wild Failure bestselling novelist Zoe Whittall’s debut collection of poetic fiction contends with the meaning of desire for both intimacy and danger in a world that devalues queer femininity.

 In “Oh, El” a dominant woman can’t stop herself from toying with the tender heart of her co-worker. The title story, “Wild Failure” is a doomed love story between an agoraphobic and a wilderness hiker. In “Half Pipe” a teen girl’s heterosexual ambivalence results in chaos at a skate park. A group of idealistic roommates find themselves the subject of a true crime podcast in “Murder at the Elm Street Collective House.” In “The Sex Castle Lunch Buffet” a woman reflects on her brief stint at a 90s strip club after she learns of the death of a former client.

 Whittall’s characters navigate shame, attachment, and disconnection in this collection of outsider stories, which were inspired by the new narrative movement.


Critical Praise

“These stories are vividly detailed and almost unbearably relatable, packed with full-blown characters on the verge of revelation and transformation.” — Lynn Coady, author of Watching You Without Me

“Phenomenal. Zoe Whittall writes with the sharpness, heat and radiance of a master storyteller, a master of the human heart. Entanglement, atonement, betrayal, phobia, lust, love, forgiveness––in Wild Failure, Whittall compresses entire worlds into the most alive of sentences. I was stunned and I was transfixed by this page-turner of a collection. Wild Failure finds us at our most lost and our most found; it blazes then shimmers leaving its wise, daring, beautiful mark long after the last word.” — Claudia Dey, author of Daughter

“These beautiful stories of longing and connection vibrate with emotional honesty and sharp detail. A dirty, tender collection.”  — Michelle Tea, author of Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)fertility

“Ten short short-stories with striking details that left me passionately wistful for every shitty apartment and unhealthy relationship I ever had. Each one feels like your funniest friend read the diary of the hot barista you daydream about and now you’re breathlessly being told everything. It’s like being on ten first dates, but really, it’s ten eighth dates, when they drop the facade and unload the best awful things they’ve done. Rigorously humane, funny and forgiving - you know these characters well.” — Donovan Woods, musician

“Nobody invites you into the center of a story, a scene, a romance or a betrayal quite like Zoe Whittall. Wild Failure is unwaveringly intimate and distinct, full of stories that remind you there is company to be found in your hardest and most beautiful places.” — Chase Joynt, filmmaker, writer, video artist, actor, and professor

“How do I describe this short story collection that distracted me from my cooking well enough that I almost burned my dinner? It’s like Zoe Whittall cut these slice-of-life stories with a serrated knife.” — Catherine Hernandez, author and screenwriter of Scarborough the book and film


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443467193
  • ISBN 10: 1443467197
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 05/14/2024
  • Pages: 224
  • List Price:29.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / LGBT / General
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / General

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