Evil Flowers: Stories
From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Present Tense Machine and Knots, a collection of playfully surreal stories about love, death, and metamorphosis.
In Evil Flowers, a precise but madcap collection of short stories, Gunnhild Øyehaug extracts the bizarre from the mundane and reveals the strange, startling brilliance of everyday life.
In her new collection, Øyehaug renovates the form again and again, confirming Lydia Davis’s observation that her “every story [is] a formal surprise, smart and droll.” These tales converse with, contradict, and expand on one another; birds, slime eels, and wild beasts reappear, gnawing at the fringes. A fairly large part of a woman’s brain slips into the toilet bowl, removing her ability to remember or recognize species of birds (particularly problematic because she is an ornithologist). Medicinal leeches ingest information through fiberoptic cables, and a new museum sinks into the ground.
Inspired by Charles Baudelaire, a dreamer and romantic in the era of realism, Øyehaug revolts against the ordinary, reaching instead for the wonder to be found in fantasy and absurdity. Brimming with wit, ingenuity, and irrepressible joy, these stories mark another triumph from a dazzling international writer.
About the Author
Gunnhild Øyehaug is an award-winning Norwegian poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her story collection Knots was published by FSG in 2017, followed in 2018 by Wait, Blink, which was adapted into the acclaimed film Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts, and in 2022 by Present Tense Machine. Øyehaug lives in Bergen, where she teaches creative writing.
Kari Dickson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and grew up bilingual. She has a BA in Scandinavian
studies and an MA in translation. Her translation of
Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by
Øyvind Torseter, won the 2020 Mildred L. Batchelder
Award. Before becoming a translator, she worked
in theater in London and Oslo.