my three novels

Poor Deer...Chouette...& The Book of Dog by Lark Benobi

Poor Deer

a novel by claire oshetsky

Ecco: January 2024


A wondrous, tender novel about a young girl grappling with her role in a tragic loss, attempting to reshape the story of her life


Margaret Murphy is a natural-born weaver of fantastic tales, growing up in a world where the truth is too much for one little girl to endure. Margaret’s first memory is of the day her friend Agnes died. Left on her own to make sense of the tragedy, Margaret invents ever more imaginative and superstitious fictions as a way to avoid thinking about what really happened that day. 


Enter Poor Deer: a strange, austere creature who winds her way uninvited into Margaret’s made-up tales. Poor Deer won't rest until Margaret faces the truth about her past and atones for her role in Agnes’s death. The creature offers Margaret a sudden chance to sweep the ledger clean—but the stakes are terribly high. Is Poor Deer’s offer to be trusted? Or is it just another one of Margaret's made-up stories, too good to be true?


"Readers will be captivated by Margaret's beautifully weird search for atonement." -- Publishers Weekly


"Beautiful, terrifying. . . . Grief is a well-trod territory in fiction, but in Oshetsky's hands, this familiar topic becomes fresh and strange. . . . With Poor Deer, Oshetsky proves themself the bard of unruly psyches." -- New York Times Book Review


a novel by claire oshetsky

Ecco: November 2021


Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. “You think this baby is going to be like you, but it’s not like you at all,” she warns him. “This baby is an owl-baby.”


When Chouette is born small and broken-winged, Tiny works around the clock to meet her daughter’s needs. Left on her own to care for a child who seems more predatory bird than baby, Tiny vows to raise Chouette to be her authentic self. Even in those times when Chouette’s behaviors grow violent and strange, Tiny’s loving commitment to her daughter is unwavering. When she discovers that her husband is on an obsessive and increasingly dangerous quest to find a “cure” for their daughter, Tiny must decide whether Chouette should be raised to fit in or to be herself—and she will learn what it truly means to be a mother.


"Searing and ethereal...A harrowing and magnificent fable." -- New York Times Book Review


"Chouette is a sublime parable of mother-love which ferociously eviscerates society's failure to accept nonconformity . . . It would not surprise me if Chouette finds a place in the feminist literary canon. It has lingered in my mind in a way that only the most original works do." --The Guardian



The Book of Dog by Lark Benobi

a novel by claire oshetsky

Vegetablian Books: September 2018


It's the night of the Yellow Puff-Ball Mushroom Cloud and a mysterious yellow fog is making its way across the world, sowing chaos in its path. Mt. Fuji has erupted. The Euphrates has run dry. The White House is under attack by giant bears, the President is missing, and the Vice President has turned into a Bichon Frise. It's Apocalypse Time, my friends. Soon the Beast will rise. And six unlikely women must make the perilous journey to the Pit of Nethalem, where they will stop the Beast from fulfilling its evil purpose, or die trying.


The Book of Dog is a tale of politics, religion, demon possession, motherhood, love, betrayal, and easy-going bestiality. It's a contemporary Candide with a dollop of Animal Farm and a dash of Metamorphosis thrown in. A ridiculously plausible story set in one possible near-future, it wryly explores how even the most insignificant of people, when working together, can change the world.


“Just as an Aesop’s fable has its own enduring charm, so too does The Book of Dog win the reader over with its lessons presented in a curious mix of whimsy and biting social satire.” —Fantasy & Science Fiction


“A triumphant tale about marginalized people who work together to effect the greater good.” —Foreword Reviews