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Dazzling and delightful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores family, faith, and longing though a kaleidoscope of surreal landscapes and spellbinding characters.
Andreasen’s stories unfold in wildly inventive worlds that invite the supernatural into our familiar routines: in “Bodies in Space”, an extramarital affair is rudely interrupted by an alien abduction, while in “Blunderbuss”, a third-grade class takes an ill-advised field trip to a floundering time travel institute. “Jenny” follows a reluctant caretaker’s attempts to manage his kind-hearted but headless sister, and in the title story, a group of sailors find their ship commandeered by an aggressively love-struck sea monster.
Romping through the fantastic with bighearted ease, these stories find a universal yearning for connection in strange, seldom-explored spaces, revealing that aliens can help us think about loss, that time travel is just another way to talk about guilt, and that sea monsters may have a thing or two to teach us about love.
With a captivating new voice from an immensely talented storyteller, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the odd, the extraordinary, and the miraculous to expose us at our most profoundly and hilariously human.
Select Praise for The Sea Beast Takes a Lover
“The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a treasury of fantastic tales–full of mermaids, prophetic dancing bears, exploding children, and distraught time travelers. It’s also a collection of longing, of loss, of loving deeply, and of learning what it means to care for others. A brilliant book, daring and wonderful.”
— Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of The New World
“The Sea Beast Takes a Lover sits on a small shelf of books that I will read a dozen times over. It is full of explosions of magic, aching tenderness and star-bright writing. This is a book that will make you want to tap the person next to you and say, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but you have to hear this.’”
— Ramona Ausubel, Author of Sons and Daughters and Ease of Plenty
“Andreasen has a big, roomy imagination, and a command of language to furnish the worlds he creates with both precision and grandeur. These stories are, by turns, timeless and urgent, dreamy and nightmarish, heartbroken and hopeful. A brilliant collection.”
— Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You
“The world is a very strange place. Michael Andreasen’s fantastic storytelling, ripe with tender monsters and understandably tortured humans, opens the window to our weirdness just a crack further, reminding his reader that the human heart is and always will be filled with wonder.”
— Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot & The Dark Dark
"The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a beautiful Wunderkammer of a book, filled with delights and curiosities that radically expand our understanding of the world. Tender and demented, hilarious and sublime, Andreasen’s stories achieve quite a marvelous thing: to be as deeply felt as they are wildly imagined."
-- Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, AUTHOR OF Madeleine is Sleeping
“The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is such a wildly imaginative work that the book itself could be an artifact drawn from one of the sui generis stories it contains. Uncannily inventive yet unfailingly grounded in all-too-familiar struggles of the heart, these are stories that vary widely in subject matter–paternal pressures, the terror of stasis, our jealous hunger for love–but never in the confident distinctiveness of Michael Andreasen’s voice. What a voice it is! What a vision! For what is more exciting to a reader than discovering a new way to see the world? This thrillingly original debut gives us just that in every story, on every page.”
— Josh Weil, Author of The Age of Perpetual Light