Johanna Stoberock

Johanna Stoberock is the author of the novel City of Ghosts. Her honors include the James W. Hall Prize for Fiction, an Artist Trust GAP award, and a Jack Straw Fellowship. In 2016 she was named runner-up for the Italo Calvino Prize for Fiction. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Best of the Net anthology, and Catamaran, among others. She lives in Walla Walla, Washington, where she teaches at Whitman College.

All Books


Johanna Stoberock

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

$16.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-044-5


In the tradition of Lord of the FliesPigs is an exquisitely wrought fable about the excesses of the contemporary world.

Four children live on an island that serves as the repository for all the world’s garbage. Trash arrives, the children sort it, and then they feed it to a herd of insatiable pigs: a perfect system. But when a barrel washes ashore with a boy inside, the children must decide whether he is more of the world’s detritus, meant to be fed to the pigs, or whether he is one of them. Written in exquisitely wrought prose, Pigs asks questions about community, environmental responsibility, and the possibility of innocence.


SHORTLISTED – 2020 Neukom Awards for Speculative Fiction
BRONZE – 2019 Foreword Literary Fiction


“A lyrical, enthralling, and dark-inflected allegory, equal parts Italo Calvino, Angela Carter, and Lord of the Flies.”—Jonathan Lethem, author of A Gambler’s Anatomy and The Feral Detective

“Powerful, metaphorical, as fantastical as it is true, Johanna Stoberock’s Pigs is a masterpiece. Stoberock scrutinizes mankind’s failure to tend to our planet, our children, and our fellow man, and the result is a terrifying, tremendous book, its darkness lit in unpredictable ways by campfires of compassion and hope. What a wise, searing novel for the twenty-first century.”—Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra and The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac

Pigs looks unflinchingly at some of the scariest parts of our world—a changing climate, an ocean full of garbage, and us, the fragile animals. Yet within this, there is tremendous beauty and grace—Johanna Stoberock has written a kind of love song to survival, to life itself.”—Ramona Ausubel, author of Awayland and Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty


Pigs on the TODAY show

For June, the Read With Jenna book club dove into Megha Majumdar’s debut novel, “A Burning.” The book tackles themes of class, fate and corruption in contemporary India through the stories of […]


PIGS by Johanna Stoberock reviewed by Full Stop!

Islands provide fertile territory for utopian visions. For Thomas More, Utopia itself was an island, a self-enclosed little atoll just beyond the horizon where the best of all possible worlds […]

On the Seawall reviews PIGS by Johanna Stoberock!

There’s a dreaminess to childhood rebellion, the moments when children viscerally understand that the adults don’t know what they are doing. Some of the most memorable moments in European arthouse […]

Johanna Stoberock’s PIGS reviewed by Booklist!

In Stoberock’s extraordinarily imaginative novel, four children live on a desert island where all the world’s waste washes ashore. They are tasked with the arduous, abject, and unrelenting work of […]