Fugue State

Stories by Brian Evenson, illustrated by Zak Sally

July 1, 2009 • 6 x 9 • 208 pages • 978-1-56689-225-4

Nineteen chilling tales of the terror that lurks within.

Hallucinatory and darkly comic, these stories of paranoia, pursuit, sensory deprivation, amnesia, and retribution rattle the cages of the psyche. And through the illustrations of graphic novelist Zak Sally (Recidivist, Sammy The Mouse), this unsettling world is brought to life. From sadistic bosses with secret fears to a woman trapped in a mime’s imaginary box, and from a post-apocalyptic misidentified messiah to unwitting portraitists of the dead, Brian Evenson’s mind-bending fiction exposes the horror contained within our daily lives.

About the Author

Praised by Peter Straub for going “furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice,” Brian Evenson is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He is also the winner of the International Horror Guild Award and the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel, and his work has been named in Time Out New York’s top books.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Brian Evenson is one of my favorite writers. The stories in this collection will thrill, unsettle, and captivate. Like lanterns in dark rooms, paper boats carried down on subterranean waters, they lead the reader into mysterious and perilous territory. Read at your own risk.” —Kelly Link

“Brian Evenson is the Donald Barthelme of psychological horror.” —Los Angeles Times

“Evenson accesses dark, unusual facets of human frailty, powerlessness and fear. . . . This intense, nightmarish collection captures the fear of night terrors, when one wakes in the middle of the night, unable to move.” —Publishers Weekly

“The specific genius of Fugue State rests in subtlety, in Evenson’s ability to maintain suspense, dread and paranoia through utter linguistic control.” —Time Out New York

“[Fugue State] brings us into contact with thinking itself, with a sense of terror that seems to multiply plainly, and with the most difficult kinds of truth.”—The Believer

“Laughter can be an effective tool of the horror writer, and Evenson is its finest practitioner.” —Time Out Chicago

“These 19 satisfying and surreal stories plumb the psyches of murderers, paranoids, frightened children, bitter ex-husbands, religious zealots in post-apocalyptic worlds and people whose fleeting sanity will be gone by story’s end. Evenson takes even his most fanciful characters seriously even as he partakes of gallows humor; this book is as packed with subtly hilarious sentences as haunting images.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer