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ISBN: 978-1-62557-060-4
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Reviews & Media Review in SOUTHWEST REVIEW
Categories Fiction, Short Stories

Midnight Self

Publication Date: October 2023


Adrian Van Young beckons readers further into the shifting borderlands of the Gothic and uncanny in his second collection, Midnight Self. Space colonists menaced by a grotesque alien creature adapt a grim charter to ensure their survival. An exhausted new mother makes an uneasy discovery when her baby monitor’s signal gets crossed with another. An heiress imprisoned in a labyrinth of her own making is forced into an obliterating confrontation with grief. A carnivorous car lot tube man terrorizes a gang of transphobic bullies. An army nurse discovers that war’s terrors still hound her in new, chilling forms. Written in the tradition of Angela Carter, George Saunders and Mariana Enriquez, Midnight Self explores the dissociation of being human and the humanity of being monstrous.


These knife-sharp, hypnotic stories plunge readers into chillingly surreal and powerfully imagined worlds. Adrian Van Young uses the monstrous and the uncanny to cast brilliant light on our human form.
-Laura Van Den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Myths, pop culture, culture wars. A living, monstrous house. Death wearing khakis. Repolarized blood. Mediums. Extinction. Midnight Self is a collection of movies to be screened in a theater with one single chair: that is your skull on Van Young steroids. This is the kind of dark, great writing we need to understand our times.
-Yuri Hererra, author of Ten Planets: Stories & Signs Preceding the End of the World

Midnight Self is an exceptional collection. Every story is perfectly, unnervingly off; every page offered an image or produced a feeling I could not shake. Adrian Van Young is a master of the uncanny.
– Jac Jemc, author of The Grip of It and Empty Theatre

An outstanding collection that skitters from a strange and gigantic skin thing to an oddly transforming doll, from a house that its owner can’t stop building to a house that consumes whoever it wants, from the uprising of the past Civil War dead to the rejuvenation of future semi-artificial animals, without ever giving the reader safe ground to stand on. Midnight Self is filled with well-written, provocative terrors, and it is well worth the read.
-Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell and Song for the Unraveling of the World

About the Author

Adrian Van Young

Adrian Van Young is the author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, a collection of stories, which won Black Lawrence Press’s St. Lawrence Book Award; the novel, Shadows in Summerland (Open Road Media); and the story collection, Midnight Self (Black Lawrence Press.) He is also the author of Vampire Pool Party, a book for children (Madeleine Editions.) His fiction and non-fiction have been published in Black Warrior Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, The Baffler, Conjunctions, The Believer, BOMB, Granta, McSweeney's and The New Yorker online. He lives in New Orleans with his family where he teaches American Literature & Creative Writing.

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