The God of Animals

By Aryn Kyle. Published in 2007.

The first chapter of The God of Animals initially appeared as an award-winning short story in The Atlantic, and the residue of its earlier incarnation lingers in the pages of the novel. Good short stories distill so much into such little space—every word counts—and The God of Animals, with its tone set by that gorgeous first chapter, has that same kind of bewitching weight.