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