An energetic, witty collection of stories where the supernatural meets the anomalies of everyday life--deception, infidelity, lost cats, cute memes, amateur pornography, and more.

There are analogies between being female and being left-handed, I think, or being an animal.

A woman answers a Craigslist ad (to write erotic diaries for money). A woman walks onto a tennis court (from her home at the bottom of the ocean). A woman goes to the supermarket and meets a friend's husband (who happens to be an immortal demon). A woman goes for a run (and accidentally time travels).

Cosmogony takes accounts of so-called normal life and mines them for inconsistencies, deceptions, and delights. Incorporating a virtuosic range of styles and genres (Wikipedia entry, phone call, physics equation, encounters with the supernatural), these stories reveal how the narratives we tell ourselves and believe are inevitably constructed, offering a glimpse of the structures that underlie and apparently determine human existence.


"Ives takes a playful approach to her subject and, along the way, reveals how thin the fictions governing our world truly are." —Cornelia Channing, New York Magazine

"Ives—this is a compliment—is a real literary weirdo, and her stories are strange without ever performing their strangeness . . . Each one is emotionally precise in the extreme. Often, I was moved without knowing what had moved me—a rare feeling in art as in life, and an absolute treat . . . I'd move to her weird cosmos any day." —Lily Meyer, NPR


"There is perhaps no author better able to confront the acute absurdities of our reality than Lucy Ives, who veritably tackles the derangements of our era with glee, clarity, and brilliance. In this story collection, Ives touches on the mundane—from memes to porn to errand-running—offering up a version of life that is all the more authentic for its wholly surreal elements (time travel; living underwater). But then, this is what Ives does best: By offering up a kaleidoscope rather than a microscope through which to view our world, she presents us with something more glittery and beautiful and endlessly faceted than we could see if we were looking at it with our own eyes." ––Kristin Iversen, Refinery29, One of the Best New Books of the Year

Cosmogony: Stories by Lucy Ives

$16.95Price
Out of Stock
  • Soft Skull Press 2021

    New paperback

    256 pages