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Teresa Milbrodt is the author of the short story collections Bearded Women and Work Opportunities; the novel The Patron Saint of Unattractive People; and the flash fiction collection Larissa Takes Flight. She has an M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

Instances of Head-Switching
Teresa Milbrodt

ISBN 978-0-9984634-5-2, paperback, 195 pp., $22.95, June 23, 2020

 

A middle school teacher relies on eight interchangeable heads to cope with her job. A woman tries to negotiate life with her arthritis witch and her boyfriend’s seizure elf. The Germanic goddess Berchta, tired of being a fearsome hag, shows up in a woman’s apartment wanting to be flat-mates.

In the fictional worlds depicted in Instances of Head-Switching, sphinxes are kept as pets, unicorns are raised on ranches, and Sisyphus has escaped from Hades and is happily working as a bagger at a grocery store. But characters still struggle to pay bills, deal with cranky customers and bosses, and navigate life with partial vision, limited mobility, and chronic diseases.

Focusing on themes of embodiment, disability, and economic insecurity, Teresa Milbrodt offers witty and inventive tales full of compassion for her cash-strapped, hard-luck characters. The collection includes stories originally published in Guernica, Strange Horizons, PANK, and other journals.

Cover design: Whitney Pearce

 

 

Praise for Instances of Head-Switching

“Defines a magical realism for the domestically marginalized... The dead-on, deadpan deliveries are right out of Barthelme’s home cooking school where the most fantastic is the most modest and mundane, where every instance of wonder boils down into the epic poetry of zesty small talk.” — Michael Martone, author of Brooding and and The Moon Over Wapakoneta

“A bright, energetic, tongue-in-cheek collection... Milbrodt wisely sets the absurdity against the prosaic old world where people work as bookkeepers and attend faculty meetings to go over new disciplinary policies. That juxtaposition gives the collection its weight, lets us marvel at its inventiveness.” — Mary Troy, author of Swimming on Hwy N