What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri


In nine stories that span the globe, What We Fed to the Manticore takes readers inside the minds of a full cast of animal narrators to understand the triumphs, heartbreaks, and complexities of the creatures that share our world.

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A Rumpus and The Millions Most Anticipated Book of 2022

“Kolluri delivers a dazzling, daring bestiary brimming over with textured, tender lives. A most magnificent debut!” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders

“A work of incredible imagination and daring.”—Claire Comstock-Gay, author of Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars

Through nine emotionally vivid stories, all narrated from animal perspectives, Talia Lakshmi Kolluri’s debut collection explores themes of environmentalism, conservation, identity, belonging, loss, and family with resounding heart and deep tenderness. In Kolluri’s pages, a faithful hound mourns the loss of the endangered rhino he swore to protect. Vultures seek meaning as they attend to the antelope that perished in Central Asia. A beloved donkey’s loyalty to a zookeeper in Gaza is put to the ultimate test. And a wounded pigeon in Delhi finds an unlikely friend.

In striking, immersive detail against the backdrop of an ever-changing international landscape, What We Fed to the Manticore speaks to the fears and joys of the creatures we share our world with, and ultimately places the reader under the rich canopy of the tree of life.

What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri