Recommended reading: Slab, by Selah Saterstrom

I hope to review this soon. In the meantime, here’s an advert:


Selah Saterstrom

August 11, 2015
5 x 7.5 | 186 Pages
Trade Paper
Coffee House Press

On a slab that’s all Katrina left of her Mississippi home, Tiger—stripper, felon, best-selling author—tells us of her days dancing as Helen Keller, her grandfather’s suicide, a serial killer duo from the 18th century, and the best recipe for red velvet cake. And out of these floating anecdotes comes a portrait of a fallen biblical landscape of struggle and sin.


The Meat and Spirit Plan is ferocious and dazzling, the work of a savage poet. Every scene is a hard polished gem of raunch and revelation. Strung together they build a force of piercing tenderness. It’s an impressive achievement, and a real pleasure to read.”

—Katherine Dunn

“Saterstrom writes with a poet’s economy and eye for visceral detail, collapsing into a mere 140 pages a four-generation history of a Southern family bedeviled by alcoholism, poverty, racism, violence, and mental illness. Her spareness is a mercy. The story she tells is brutal, almost impossible to take; at the same time, her exquisite, cut-to-the-quick language makes this book impossible to put down.”

The Huffington Post, included in “11 Underappreciated Literary Masterpieces”

“Brutal but also deeply lyrical, Saterstrom’s beautiful novel paints a portrait of a family wracked by its own dysfunction and held fast by a place that has never fully recovered since the day the Civil War began—the day known, as the book tellingly reminds us, as ‘Ruination Day.’”

Publishers Weekly

“Stories that are good must be told and this one tells its way right into your subconscious and stays there until you fall asleep, haunting you with words and images.”



Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels The Meat and Spirit Plan and The Pink Institution, both published by Coffee House Press. Widely published and anthologized, she teaches and lectures across the United States and is the director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

She is also the author of Tiger Goes to the Dogs, a limited-edition letterpress project  published by Nor By Press. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Post Road, Fourteen Hills, and Tarpaulin Sky (| 1 | 2 | 3 (Interview) | 4 (Guest Editor) | 5 | ) among other places.