The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs

by Leslie Kirk Campbell (Author)
Published by Sarabande Books, available everywhere February 1, 2022.

The 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.

The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs

by Leslie Kirk Campbell (Author)
Published by Sarabande Books, available everywhere February 1, 2022.

The 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.

About the Author

Leslie Kirk Campbell's short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares Solos and won awards at Arts & Letters, Southern Indiana Review, Briar Cliff Review and The Thomas Wolfe Review. The author of Journey into Motherhood (Riverhead), Leslie is the mother of two grown sons and teaches at Ripe Fruit Writing, a creative writing program she founded in San Francisco.

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PRAISE

"A meaningful and utterly devastating collection that cements Campbell as a leading short story writer."

- Wendy J. Fox, BuzzFeed News (Full Review)

"Unforgettable...tour de force." Campbell's stories "slap us awake."

- Joan Frank, San Francisco Chronicle (Full Review)

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"Compelling… unpredictable…. vibrant and vital… a memorable force."

Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories

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"Marvelous…sexy…harrowing."

Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light You Cannot See

"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

"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, author of Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories

"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, author of All the Light You Cannot See

"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, as insightful on Thailand’s transition from military to civilian rule as they are on the most intimate negotiations between lovers. The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs is a superbly accomplished and assured debut."

— Jim Shepard, author of The World to Come

"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."

— Wendy J. Fox, BuzzFeed News

Ploughshares Fall 2021 Available

The Fall 2021 Issue of Ploughshares, edited by Ladette Randolph, features nine long-form pieces including Leslie Kirk Campbell's title story, The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell. The stories and essays in the Fall 2021 Issue confront violence in our own time and in generations past, grappling with the very “ugliness” of human nature.