Mostly Dead Things

By Kristen Arnett


Shocked and grieving after the suicide of her father, Jessa steps up to manage the failing family business, while the rest of the Morton family falls apart. Her mother decides to process her feelings by making aggressively lewd and increasingly disturbing art pieces with her dead husband’s taxidermied animals. Her brother withdraws and struggles to cope. His wife – who is also the only person Jessa has ever been in love with – walks out without a word. Meanwhile, numb with lack of sleep and too much alcohol, Jessa starts to seek less-than-legal ways of generating income to keep the shop afloat. The Mortons have reached tipping point. But for the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people she calls family truly are and, ultimately, how she fits alongside them.

In stock


‘Messed-up families, scandalous love affairs, art, life, death and the great state of Florida in one delicious, darkly funny package. Kristen Arnett is a wickedly talented and a wholly original voice’ Jami Attenberg

What does it take to come back to life?

In the wake of her father’s suicide, Jessa-Lynn Morton has stepped up to manage his failing taxidermy business while the rest of the Morton family falls apart. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make alarming art with stuffed animals; and while her brother Milo withdraws, his wife, Brynn – the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with – leaves home without a word. A string of unexpected incidents opens up the chance for the Mortons to mend: can they piece themselves together again?

Kristen Arnett’s breakout debut is a darkly funny family portrait; a peculiar, bighearted look at love and loss and the ways we live through them together.

‘This book is my song of the summer’ Parul Seghal, New York Times

‘Wonderful’ Esmé Weijun Wang, Guardian

‘Explores love, loss and death and is guaranteed to keep you gripped throughout’ Mirror

‘The writing is subtle and meditative, with the tactile weight of dense fur’ New Yorker

Additional information

Weight 0.285 kg
Dimensions 19.6 × 12.4 × 2.8 cm










1st paperback ed


813.6 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K


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Mostly Dead Things


In stock