Wow. David James Poissant has written a fantastic, beguiling book. Often offbeat and always enthralling, The Heaven of Animals seduces the reader, again and again, with our weird, urgent attempts to understand each other. These stories lure the loners and romantics out of America’s backwaters, then march them into the moonlight to break your heart.
- Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
It's not often you read stories with this much range, precision, power, and emotional depth in a first collection. It's not like a "first collection" at all, in fact. This is beautiful, exciting, accomplished work. David James Poissant is one of the best-of-the-best new writers out there, and I have no doubt there's a lot more to come.
- Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
Wild as two men wrestling an alligator, tender as a father stretching out on the floor next to his sleeping son, the stories in The Heaven of Animals will make you stop and wonder. Poissant digs deep until he reaches the heart of each tale, unearthing unexpected connections with his vivid and graceful prose.
- Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers
Rueful and kind, akin to both Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver in humane spirit and technical mastery.
- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Compassionate. - Booklist
Masterful...Poissant's gift of fiction writing is a great big gift...You can move among William Faulkner, Harry Crews, and Flannery O'Connor to find the muscle here, and among Eudora Welty, Lee Smith, and Jill McCorkle for the tenderness...A great strength of this collection: Though many of the characters are not like us readers one bit (some are), Poissant shows us how much alike we all are as fathers, mothers, friends, children, liars, and lovers, no matter our pedigree.
- Clyde Edgerton, Garden & Gun
"Like Flannery O'Connor's, Poissant's stories are marked by violence, humor, and grace; like Saunders, he can spoon-bend reality; like Carver and Diaz, he writes scenes soaked in kerosene and seconds from combustion."
-Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Swamplandia!