A Man with Eight Pairs of Legs is about the ways our bodies are marked by memory, often literally, and the risky decisions we make when pushed to the extreme. Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, this collection of short stories is a study in compassion and in passion, a must-read for our times.
Buzzfeed, "16 Upcoming Books From Indie Presses You’ll Love"
"[An] engaging debut...marked by surprising encounters and poignant reflections."
"In these eight stories, Campbell spins tales of isolation that range from the desperate to the profound, and her clear prose cuts through the trepidation her characters often feel. A meaningful and utterly devastating collection that cements Campbell as a leading short story writer."
—"16 Upcoming Books From Indie Presses You’ll Love," Buzzfeed
"[A] remarkable collection—every story a deep dive well worth taking."
—San Francisco Chronicle, online and print
"You’ll remember its vivid imagery and smart turns of phrase."
"These stories, ambitious in scope, at once gritty and lavishly told, set a clear-eyed beam on their characters, and in prose as careful as it is exact, Campbell taps that fierce instinct to regenerate, and show us how ash sparks life."
“History and memory crosscut through The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs in a gorgeous weave. These are marvelous, stirring stories, sometimes sexy, sometimes harrowing, somehow both timeless and timely. Campbell writes with great depth, patience, wisdom, and beauty.”
—Anthony Doerr, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for All the Light We Cannot See
"The Man With Eight Pairs of Legs, Leslie Kirk Campbell’s prize-winning debut collection of eight stories, is distinguished by the range and diversity of the stories. The seemingly effortless invention of compelling characters entangled in unpredictable situations lends this book a vibrancy and vitality that’s at once sophisticated and utterly natural. And though this is a collection of individual stories, there’s an underlining drive of an intense single voice that gives this book a memorable force."
—Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Paper Lantern: Love Stories
“Leslie Kirk Campbell’s stories feature protagonists whose wisdom and wit and tenderness and patience and openness to existence cannot save them from trauma or anxiety or longing or the manic duplicities of love. These stories are masterful on the impossibility of negotiating implacably contradicting desires, and on the indivisibility of the personal and the political. The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs is a superbly accomplished and assured debut.”
—Jim Shepard, author of The World to Come and Phase Six
"Leslie Kirk Campbell's stories immerse you into a complete and layered world where her characters are suspended between self-destruction and rebirth. Hypnotic, strange, and lovely."
—Michelle Wildgen, author of Bread and Butter and You’re Not You