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The Dogs : A Modern Bestiary

Brown, Rebecca

97 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0872863441 / ISBN 13: 9780872863446
Published by City Lights Books, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A., 1998
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Dogs : A Modern Bestiary

Publisher: City Lights Books, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Paperback Edition

Book Type: Used

About this title


The nameless narrator of The Dogs: A Modern Bestiary lives in her studio apartment with a pack of Doberman pinchers. The dogs, led by the cruel, charismatic bitch named Miss Dog, alternate between being brutal attack animals and loyal companions, being real and otherworldly. Some chapters draw upon the ecstatic and horrifying visions of Christian mystics; others take place in the landscapes of familiar fairytales; others in the banal settings of the late-night pick-up bars or suburban picnics. The narrator uneasily inhabits these worlds until the dogs force her to take irrevocable action.

"A snarling attack on the fairytale form. A good girl's fears of inadequacy materialize as a pack of vicious dogs." Publishers Weekly

"A strange and wonderful first-person voice emerges from the stories of Rebecca Brown, who strips her language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rituals of love and need." The New York Times

"Using unsentimental language that slices, pries and exposes layers of emotion and sexuality as a scalpel does a body, Brown veers into the uncharted territory." The San Francisco Chronicle

"I read everything Rebecca Brown writes, watch for her books and hunt down her short stories. She is simply one of the best contemporary lesbian writers around." Dorothy Allison

"A dry, witty, graceful if savage gift." Mary Gaitskill

Rebecca Brown is the author of other fictions, including The Terrible Girls, Annie Oakley’s Girl, and The Gifts of the Body. She is the winner of the 2003 Washington State Book Award, and was awarded a Genius Award and grant from Seattle's weekly magazine, The Stranger. She lives in Seattle.


The many devotees of Rebecca Brown's compressed, lyrical prose will find The Dogs her most accomplished piece of fiction yet--a taut, beautifully sustained meditation on power, savagery, and piercing self-knowledge. Whether drawing on fairy tales, medieval Christian allegories, or the conceit of the bestiary (her precursors are Robert Coover, Angela Carter, and other wordsmiths of the fantastic), Brown manages to turn a wealth of allusions and images to her own grim purposes. Do a pack of cruel, increasingly human Dobermans inhabit the narrator's modest studio apartment, forcing her to do their bidding? And, if so, why doesn't she leave? What has happened to her self-esteem--or, in fact, to herself, her fragile body, with its pale, hairless paws, its two measly teats (so annoying, so ridiculous to the dogs), its useless teeth? A breakthrough novel for Brown that should attract--and disturb--a wide readership. --Regina Marler

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