Among Animals: An anthology that’s just getting started

John Yunker

Playwright, author of the environmental novel The Tourist Trail and co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

Latest posts by John Yunker (see all)

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When we put out a call for submissions for our first planned anthology, Among Animals, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a vision for the types of stories we wanted, but we weren’t sure if there were enough writers out there who shared this vision.

Fortunately, we found many writers interested in exploring the human-animal connection. And we are very proud of the finished product.

We then wondered if there was an audience of readers who shared this vision? After all, we weren’t trying to sell a cute little collection of animal stories. This is, for many, a challenging collection to read. The stories deal with uncomfortable and, at times, very painful topics.

But now, a year later, I’m happy to say that Among Animals has indeed resonated with readers. The reviews alone have been very gratifying, and they continue to appear, in major publications such as Booklist to literary journals like The Chattahoochee Review.

Among the most recent reviews is this one from The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada:

Among Animals is as provocative as it is urgent, and as accessible as it is emotional. This collection will be useful to animal studies specialists, posthumanist scholars, and ecocritics alike, as it attests to the multifarious systems within which humans co-exist with non-human others. The collection will serve readers with professed interests in the identity and subject formation of any social “other,” who is systematically and institutionally overlooked and undervalued, for the discourse that surrounds “the question of the animal” is by no means limited to the effects of a humanistic hierarchy on animals alone. And finally, beyond Among Animals’ tremendous theoretical and philosophical promise, the stories herein will leave an indelible impression on a compassionate readership that questions and challenges humans’ particularly privileged subject position in order to engender a more ethical framework for living not as entities separated from the world, but as sensitive and reciprocal elements of an inherently valuable, shared environment.”

And this from Sabotage Reviews:

“All of the stories were written with the laudable goal of legitimizing the need for recognition (and application) of the rights of animals in our interactions with them…This anthology reiterates [the human-animal] connection over and over again, in a myriad of ways, expanding that connection from the realm of pets, through domesticated livestock, until it encompasses all of the things that we call ‘nature,’ revealing (in a way that is wholly free from the saccharine flavor of sentiment) that we are and always have been part of the web of the world.”

And The Chattahoochee Review wrote:

“The sixteen talented writers who have produced Among Animals have produced more artistic possibilities than limitations in the tone and mood … very fine literary fiction.”

So, what next?

It’s time to begin looking forward to the next edition.

We recently opened the submission window and we welcome your stories.

But, before you do submit, please take a look the current anthology to get a feel for what we’re looking for. Click here to see where you can find the book — or, ask your local library to purchase a copy.

 

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Playwright, author of the environmental novel The Tourist Trail and co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

Latest posts by John Yunker (see all)