Lara Ehrlich

Lara Ehrlich’s writing appears in StoryQuarterly, F(r)iction, Hunger Mountain, the Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere, and she has received scholarship support from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Midwest Writers Workshop, and the Garret on the Green. Lara has attended the Bread Loaf and Tin House writers’ conferences, and she is the recipient of an IHAF In-House Creativity Award and numerous Council for Advancement and Support of Education awards for her feature writing. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Boston University, and she lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Visit her website at

All Books

Animal Wife

Lara Ehrlich

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

$14.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-884-7


Animal Wife is composed of fifteen stories unified by girls and women seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds. They address the complexities of transitioning from innocence to experience and take on the anxiety of motherhood. The majority of the stories are set in an off-kilter version of our world, where the fantastical can exist side by side with—and reveal the absurdities of—the mundane. They often include monsters, mothers, and monstrous mothers.


“From the first sentence Animal Wife grabbed me and never let go. Sensual and intelligent, with gorgeous prose, it made me dizzy with its exploration and illumination of the inner and outer lives of girls and women.”—Ann HoodNew York Times bestselling author

“In this sparkling debut collection, Ehrlich draws on the dark undersides of fairytales to portray the growth, strangeness, and ferocity of childhood with haunting beauty. Each story takes us deeper into the rabbit hole: with mythical monsters and Ovidian transformations, girls discover their own strength and darkness. As the women in these stories cast about for freedom, they become dangerous beings themselves; Ehrlich reminds us how thin the line is between violence and desire. She is a master observer of the magic and mystery that lurk at the edge of our lives. This collection is the arrival of a startling and undeniable new talent in the world of genre-breaking fiction.”—Blair Hurley, author of The Devoted

“The stories in Lara Ehrlich’s Animal Wife are gorgeous and heartbreaking. They glide into each other, refract, and expand outward again, echoing seasons and change and longing. They cause astonishment and wonder. They ask: what does it mean to be in a body? What do we ever know about girlhood? It is a complex and rewarding read.”—Kristen Arnett, author of Felt in the Jaw and Mostly Dead Things

” Lara Ehrlich is a master stylist of the surreal, the fabulist, and the fantastic. I loved each of these whimsical, magical stories that centered around girls and women and their transformations (whether that be into women, mothers, or animals). I was particularly intrigued by the way Lara beautifully portrays the inner struggle between wildness and domesticity, the surreal elements of each story lending a mythical complexity to these conflicts. Really lovely and thought-provoking. Perfect for fans of Aimee Bender, Karen Russell, and Angela Carter. Also, if you’re a language-lover and (like me) find yourself highlighting gorgeous prose, this collection is full of lines like this: “In none of her lives will she be be brilliant or famous or content. Her mediocrity will hound her through a kaleidoscope of futures.” I deeply enjoyed every story (and sentence) and find myself still thinking about them and the ideas they raise days after. “—Joy Baglio, founder of Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop


Lara Ehrlich featured on Poets & Writers

“Plot does not come naturally to me. Instead of staring at a blank page hoping for inspiration, I take a long walk and dictate to myself using my phone’s recording […]

12 Books You Should Read in September

Recommended Reading from Lit Hub Staff and Contributors Lara Ehrlich, Animal Wife(Red Hen Press) “My mother said girls have to take care of themselves. That’s how we avoid turning into sea […]

10 Short Stories About Women’s Transformations

Lara Ehrlich recommends fiction by women about mythological and psychological metamorphoses. The Little Mermaid sacrifices her tail for a human soul. The Navajo Changing Woman grows old and is reborn […]

Book lunch to include music, cocktails and doughnuts

Author Lara Ehrlich knows how to add a little razzle-dazzle to a virtual event. Ehrlich, whose award-winning short story collection, “Animal Wife,” will make its debut — virtually — next Tuesday, with […]

Without Books Episode 15: Lara Ehrlich

Lara Ehrlich is the author of the short story collection Animal Wife (Red Hen Press, Sept 2020), which won Red Hen’s Fiction Award, judged by Ann Hood. Lara lives in […]


[REVIEW] Animal Wife by Lara Ehrlich

The cover of Lara Ehrlich’s debut short story collection, Animal Wife, might make you scream. On it, a quintessential 1950’s housewife, dressed in a frilly apron and with a bow in […]

Kirkus Reviews: Animal Wife

Girls and women caught between myth and the modern world. Selected by Ann Hood as the winner of the Red Hen Fiction Award, Ehrlich’s debut collection contains 15 stories, some […]