book cover of Ruin


A collection of stories by

A little girl who disguises herself as an old man, an addict who collects dollhouse furniture, a crime reporter confronted by a talking dog, a painter trying to prove the non-existence of god, and lovers in a penal colony who communicate through technical drawings—these are just a few of the characters who live among the ruins.RUIN is both bracingly timely and eerily timeless in its examination of an American state in free-fall, unsparing in its disregard for broken institutions, while shining with compassion for all who are left in their wake. Cara Hoffman’s short fictions are brutal, surreal, hilarious, and transgressive, celebrating the sharp beauty of outsiders and the infinitely creative ways humans muster psychic resistance under oppressive conditions. The ultimate effect of these ten interconnected stories is one of invigoration and a sense of possibilities—hope for a new world extracted from the rubble of the old.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"RUIN is a collection of ten jewels, each multi-faceted and glittering, to be experienced with awe and joy. Cara Hoffman has seen a secret world right next to our own, just around the corner, and written us a field guide to what she's found. I love this book." - Sara Gran

"If there is such a thing as 'anarchist fiction, ' it must be fiction that breaks all the rules of time and space, of realism and the fantastic, of fact and feelings. RUIN is true, exciting, anarchist fiction." - Nick Mamatas

"Cara Hoffman's short fiction is as tense and rich with the opaque and the precise as a painting by Leonora Carrington." - Molly Tanzer

"Tough, scarred, feral and sexy. The book and the characters refuse to conform and like in all good outlaw literature [Hoffman] takes sharp aim at the contemporary culture's willingness to do so." - Justin Torres

"The stories of RUIN deftly display the horror and ugliness of our culture of violence and consumption, yet also reveal the delicate humanity within our collective yearning. Reading Cara Hoffman's fiction makes me not only want to write better, but to be better." - Paul Tremblay

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