The Dog Seated Next to Me

Meg Pokrass

At the last count there were over 190 different breeds of dog in the world. Here we have 65 pedigree stories and only a handful have anything to do with dogs. Meg Pokrass’s sixth collection of flash fictions however represents best in class of the short literary form; miniature stories that will jump into your lap and let you stroke them, fierce stories that will frighten you, snarl and bare their teeth, stories that will whimper until you’ve taken them for a walk, stories that will leave a mess on your carpet. For those who don’t like dogs, there are love-struck cockroaches, six-foot spiders, blue-tongued skinks, Margaret Thatcher-like spouses, horny night bugs. Meg Pokrass’s stories are about the necessary animals sitting next to all of us.

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“The stories of Meg Pokrass are like beautiful bruises. I read them and ache. Sparse, poetic, insightful, and always astonishing. This is writing that makes you feel alive.” Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing

“In the universe of Meg Pokrass’s fictions, planets are gloriously misaligned, stars and suns trail love and desperate sadness, black holes serve up dogs, spiders, cats, and galaxies explode everything we thought we knew about the human heart. It is an ever-expanding universe. No other like it.” Pamela Painter, author of Wouldn’t You Like to Know

“To enter the portals of Pokrassland is to go on a magical journey: here there are sex-charged buffalo men and melancholic women who fear six-foot spiders and fall in love with their therapists. It’s a place where people make bald statements and odd connections, where there are strange animals, purple stars and ‘a deep-ruby moon’. Unpredictable, funny and charming, the world Meg Pokrass builds in The Dog Seated Next to Me is a location readers will enter gladly and, mesmerised, they will most definitely want to stay.” Nuala O’Connor, author of Joyride to Jupiter and Becoming Belle

Meg Pokrass is the author of five previous flash fiction collections. Her work has been anthologized in two Norton anthologies including New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Best Small Fictions, 2018 and 2019, the Wigleaf Top 50, and has appeared in 350 literary magazines both online and in print. She currently serves as Flash Challenge Editor at Mslexia Magazine, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K. (Bristol) Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, and Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review. Her website is megpokrass.com