Homebodies

Amy LeBlanc

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Description

“Let me tell you a story: my mother will say she’s a liar and my father will say she remembers things that never happened, but you and I know that isn’t true. Before I tell you, pick up a pair of scissors, or a pen, or a branch, or a flower stem—something to play with when you don’t want to meet my eyes. Unhinge the wasps from your insides before their black venom seeps through.” (“Nectar and Nickel”) 

 

Homebodies is an uncanny and ghostly debut with stories that provoke dread, abjection, and horror. The tales are intertwined and linked like a chain of dried daisies or butterfly legs: someone you used to know is on trial for murder. You work at a funeral home. Your dead grandmother calls you on the phone. You pin and preserve butterflies on a corkboard as a strange girl knocks on your door. You put a bike lock on the fridge. You sleepwalk. You attend a party. You get sick. You get an IV infusion. You don’t get better. 

 

The stories in Homebodies show that you don’t need a house to be haunted— the body can do that all on its own.

 

Advance Praise

“Surfaces deceive. LeBlanc’s deliciously creepy stories revel in pushing past the limitations of the body, of the domestic, and of the known even when this means guts are going to spill. In the tradition of writers such as Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, and Lisa Tuttle, these stories disorient and slide from the familiar and dreamy and into the nightmarish in the most thrilling of ways. LeBlanc kidnaps the reader and takes them on an unforgettable, screamingly great ride.” – Suzette Mayr, winner of the Giller Prize

 

“Amy LeBlanc’s Homebodies is like a slow, sliding kaleidoscope of dreams. A series of glimpses into strained, disjointed families and communities, the book follows a network of disquieting characters with wounds—both figurative and very literal—that fester and pulse. The stories feel like admissions, like muffled secrets passed behind closed doors. They are fragmented but nonetheless full—dense and swollen with the characters’ blunted fears, their stark needs. LeBlanc’s writing is a shudder running through the body: a sensation that is visceral, reflexive, and inescapable. Like a boa snake constricting, like peristalsis, these stories will swallow you whole.” – Erica McKeen, author of Tear


“Amy LeBlanc’s uncanny, open-ended stories perfectly capture the ambiguous anxieties of our pandemic times. This is an engrossing, contemporary, well-arranged collection with novelistic immersiveness.” – Seyward Goodhand, author of Even That Wildest Hope

 

“In Homebodies, Amy LeBlanc moves time forward and backward, and mostly–underneath–families, lovers, cats and friends. In these stories, growing up doesn’t lighten the dark, understanding doesn’t sweeten the lot, sadness and despair compete with spirit for space. It’s LeBlanc who makes darkness palatable with her poignancy and poetic touch. Don’t plan on putting Homebodies down after you pick it up. ” – Susie Moloney, author The Thirteen and The Dwelling

Amy LeBlanc

Amy LeBlanc

Amy LeBlanc is a PhD student in English and creative writing at the University of Calgary. Amy’s debut poetry collection, I know something you don’t know, was published with Gordon Hill Press in 2020 and was long listed for the ReLit Award and selected as a finalist for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. Her novella, Unlocking, was published by the University of Calgary Press in 2021 and was a finalist for the Trade Fiction Book of the Year through the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Amy’s second full-length poetry collection, I used to live here, is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press in spring 2025. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Room, Arc, CV2, Canadian Literature, and the Literary Review of Canada among others. Homebodies is Amy’s first short story collection.

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