Adam McOmber’s lush, hallucinatory stories are both familiar and wholly original. Drawn from the historical record, Biblical lore, fairy tales, science fiction, and nightmares, these offbeat and fantastical works explore gender and sexuality in their darkest and most beautiful manifestations. In the tradition of Angela Carter or Kelly Link, My House Gathers Desires is covertly funny and haunting, seeking fresh ways to consider sexual identity and its relation to history.
In “Sodom and Gomorrah,” readers encounter a subversive, ecstatic new version of the Old Testament story. In "The Re’em," a medieval monk’s search for a mythic beast conjures forbidden desire. And in "Notes on Inversion," the German psychiatrist Kraft-Ebbing receives a surreal retort to his clinical descriptions of same-sex desire.
“Classical in form and feel, these stories wear dread like an antique cabinet wears a patina: richly and fully, intensely integrated with the beauty of the writing itself. Somber and subtly alarming, and well worth the read.”—Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses
“Not only is the level of erudition and inquiry evident in these stories supremely impressive, Adam McOmber’s storytelling skills are also sublime. He mines the darker corners of the human psyche and presents us with one vivid and startling discovery after another; he likewise finds the secret beating hearts of his characters' desires, longings that would be equally at home in a Poe or an Angela Carter story. This is a breathtaking new collection of stories.”—Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men and Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry
“Like the Wunderkammern of the 17th and 18th centuries—so named because they were supposed to evoke wonder, a state their assemblers felt precipitated all true knowledge—the cabinet of curiosity that is Adam McOmber’s My House Gathers Desires will leave its readers in wonder, well on their way to discovering the nature of the relationship between doppelgängers, revenants, demons, and those haunted by them. It is an exquisite feeling, thrilling, terrifying and fascinating. I started reading the book again as soon as I had finished.”
—Gabriel Blackwell, author of Madeleine E. and The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men
“My House Gathers Desires is a flung-open vault of astonishments, a curation of the untamed and unimaginable made flesh. Adam McOmber’s astoundingly inventive fiction contains all the mischief and glee of a mad-scientist on holiday.”—Brian Leung, author of Take Me Home
The stories in My House Gathers Desires are at once mythic and intimate, erudite and immediately relatable. I’m always impressed and delighted by the capaciousness of Adam McOmber’s imagination: how he brings the fine aesthetic attention of the antiquarian to every story he tells, and how he inevitably manages to frighten and satisfy in equal measure. If you believe (as I do) that scary stories are the best stories, then cozy up—you’re about to meet your new favorite author.”—Camille DeAngelis, author of the Alex Award-winning Bones & All
“An otherworldly collection of tales rich with mystery, suspense, and eroticism.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In the mode of Shirley Jackson, A. S. Byatt, Kathryn Davis, and Kelly Link, McOmber has fashioned crisply rendered, richly informed and imagined, sorrowful, malevolently erotic, and archly funny campfire tales for grownups.”—Booklist
“[McOmber’s] pantry of interests is on full display, is in full play, as he navigates gender and sexuality through the lens of dark dreams, science fiction, medical quackery, and fairy tales. The reader travels from a dark lake in the opening story to a collaboration of voices in the final story who dare us not to imagine sitting around a campfire to hear daring new possibilities of queer story telling.”—Lambda Literary
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2017