Belly Up

Belly Up

Belly Up is a story collection that contains ghosts, mediums, a lover obsessed with the sound of harps tuning, teenage girls who believe they are actually plants, gulag prisoners who outsmart a terrible warden, and carnivorous churches. Throughout these grotesque and tender stories, characters question the bodies they've been given and what their bodies require to be sustained.

“At the intersection of the surreal and the real, Rita Bullwinkel has carved out a unique space in which the mundane and the strange cohabitate and sometimes frolic. The sharp, precise writing and careful observations of the human condition in her excellent first collection Belly Up signal the debut of a major new talent.” —Jeff VanderMeer

“These stunning stories take place in the spaces between ordinary objects and events. They are mysterious, strange, and fearlessly funny in their expression of human isolation, and they contain the existential surprises of great literature. Belly Up is a powerful debut by an unusually gifted writer.” —Lorrie Moore

“Bullwinkel's delightful, passionate stories of disturbance and worried words have the best kind of frenetic energy.” —Deb Olin Unferth

Title:Belly Up
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780998518435
Format Type:

About Rita Bullwinkel

’s writing has been published in Tin House, Conjunctions, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney's. She lives


    Belly Up Reviews

  • Bandit

    Short story collections are such interesting beasts. This one no exception mostly evoked a mood, but a mood that’s difficult to describe, something from a melancholy branch. The stories are diverse,...

  • Will

    “Here, in this twenty-four-hour donut shop, things are shifting too. The teenagers are looking for things, but they’re not sure what. They have big fantasies that they think up together and a conc...

  • Brittany

    I do this every time where I get so amped about the inability to obtain a book that I stop everything else once I do get my hands on it and I devour it in 48 hours like it may go away unexpectedly. I ...

  • Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Things are so easy to ruin, I remember thinking. I remember thinking, why did I do that thing that I knew was going to have a bad ending?'This is a ...

  • Drew

    A delightful debut collection, full of weird (or just slightly-off) stories that'll pique the interest of lovers of Kleeman, VanderMeer, van den Berg, Lorrie Moore, and more. Plus, if I can recommend:...

  • Ingrid Contreras

    This short story collection is like a house with many stupendous rooms built from spare sentences and subtle obsessions that spiral into the best kinds of existential questions. The result is a strang...

  • Nikki

    This was a really strange collection of stories and I’m honestly not sure how to review it. None of them were bad, but none of them really stuck with me after I finished reading them either. Most of...

  • Arianna Rebolini

    an astounding collection. reveals - by leading readers into something just past belief, something at times uncomfortable - the absolute absurdity and magnificence of existing. Bullwinkel has def joine...

  • Caleb

    First things first: I received a copy of Belly Up by way of a Goodreads Giveaway. (Thanks to Jill at A Strange Object for the thoughtful note.)Bewitching. Bizarre. Quirky. Strange. Dark. Light. Surrea...

  • Stella

    Short stories are brief moments. They are often described (and I've been guilty of this myself) as 'a slice of life.' The stories in Belly Up from Rita Bullwinkel are a slice of the weird and often sa...