Visceral Histories: Nathan Ballingrud Returns With the Unnerving Horror of “Wounds”

The title of Nathan Ballingrud’s debut collection, North American Lake Monsters, simultaneously conveyed a sense of the pastoral and an abundance of menace. The stories within spanned a broad stylistic range, establishing just what Ballingrud could do — everything from deadpan surrealism to forays into the horrific. Collection number two opts for a different approach: this one’s called Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell. Were you to guess that this ventures more overtly in the direction of horror, you’d be right, but even then, Ballingrud’s fiction showcases an impressive tonal range.

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