• Finalist for The Believer Book Award and the LA Times Book Prizes
  • Honorable Mention from the Pen/Hemingway Award
  • Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award
  • A Boston Globe, iBooks, and San Francisco Chronicle Best book of 2014

Perfectly pitched and gorgeously penned, this astonishingly bold collection of stories explores the boundary between the wild and the civilized. Pitting human beings against the extremes of nature, Diane Cook surgically peels back the layers of civilization to lay bare our vulnerabilities and the ease with which our darker, primal urges emerge. Wry, transgressive and utterly unique, Cook’s wildly inventive debut collection illuminates, with surreal humor and heart­break, humankind’s struggle not only to thrive, but survive.


MAN V. NATURE is a knockout … every single story could make a great movie … ‘Somebody’s Baby’ completely captures the crippling, animal-like vigilance of early motherhood. I had to put the book down and just sob, and I was thrilled at the same time, thinking: ‘It works! This medium really works!’”

Miranda July, New York Times Book Review

MAN V. NATURE could also be called Diane Cook V. The Challenges of Writing Fresh, Invigorating Fiction in Our Age. In the latter contest, Cook crushes. Here is a bold debut.”

Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land

“Diane Cook’s writing is sharp, bawdy, bold and often hilarious. Her stories are refreshingly crude and her imagination is unbounded. Like her characters, Cook does what she wants. Her world is another universe, where people are wilder.”

Rebecca Curtis, author of Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money

“Diane Cook’s stories are like high-wattage bulbs strung across a sinister, dark land. MAN V. NATURE is equal parts dazzle and depth.”

Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born

“What I like most about these stories is that many of them are dispatches from the end of the world, and it turns out to be a surprisingly familiar place.”

Ira Glass, Host, This American Life

“I’m not sure exactly when the current wave of apocalyptic literature began…or if there’s even the possibility that it will lessen or plateau before this planet reaches its end, but I haven’t read anything that tackles the anxiety of oblivion better than Diane Cook’s MAN V. NATURE.”

Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody Is Ever Missing

“Seethes with heat, rejection and twisted perception … I found myself enthralled by all of the stories in this collection. Not only are they surprising, but also fresh, funny, sad, often surreal and oddly true.”

Claire Cameron, author of The Bear

MAN V. NATURE is as close to experiencing a Picasso as literature can get: the worlds in Diane Cook’s impressive debut are bizarre, vertiginous, funny, pushed to the extreme-but just familiar enough in their nuances of the human condition to evoke an irresistible, around-the-corner reality.”

TÉa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

“Masterful … Each darkly comic modern fable reveals our societal preoccupations — with status, sex, motherhood, belonging — for what they really are: thin veneers over our ever-present animal selves, ready to crack at the merest provocation. A book that’ll grab your attention and keep you thinking.”

Helene Wecker, author of The Golem And The Jinni

“This week, I have been reading the most astonishing book, MAN V. NATURE by Diane Cook. The stories are surreal, with the sharpest edge and in one way or another, each story reveals something raw and powerful about being human in a world where so little is in our control.”

Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist