Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more different from the other members of her master's program at New England's elite Warren University. A self-conscious scholarship student who prefers the company of her imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort — a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight it seems their bodies might become permanently fused.
But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' exclusive monthly "Smut Salon," and finds herself drawn as if by magic to their front door — ditching her only friend, Ava, an audacious art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into Bunny world, and starts to take part in the off-campus "Workshop" where they devise their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision.
A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale about loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, and female friendship and desire, Bunny is the dazzlingly original second book from an author with tremendous "insight into the often-baffling complexities of being a woman" (From Hamish Hamilton)
Mona Awad is also the author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the 2016 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
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From the book
We call them Bunnies because that is what they call each other. Seriously. Bunny.
What did you do last night, Bunny?
I hung out with you, Bunny. Remember, Bunny?
That's right, Bunny, you hung out with me and it was the best time I ever had.
Bunny, I love you. I love you, Bunny.
And then they hug each other so hard I think their chests are going to implode. I would even secretly hope for it from where I sat, stood, leaned, in the opposite corner of the lecture hall, department lounge, auditorium, bearing witness to four grown women—my academic peers—cooingly strangle each other hello. Or good‑bye. Or just because you're so amazing, Bunny. How fiercely they gripped each other's pink‑and‑white bodies, forming a hot little circle of such rib‑crushing love and understanding it took my breath away. And then the nuzzling of ski‑jump noses, peach fuzzy cheeks. Temples pressed against temples in a way that made me think of the labial rubbing of the bonobo or the telepathy of beautiful, murderous children in horror films. All eight of their eyes shut tight as if this collective asphyxiation were a kind of religious bliss. All four of their glossy mouths making squealing sounds of monstrous love that hurt my face.
I love you, Bunny.
From Bunny by Mona Awad ©2019. Published by Penguin Random House Canada.
"What excited me the most about the book was this play with what imagination can offer — especially to somebody who feels alone. The imagination can be a place where you can find consolation, it can be a place where you can find friendship, but it's a dangerous space too.
I want readers to connect with that possibility. To connect with that idea that within every wonder, we have this incredible resource of the imagination to both save us and destroy us.- Mona Awad
"I want readers to connect with that possibility. To connect with that idea that within every wonder, we have this incredible resource of the imagination to both save us and destroy us. I think the book shows you it can go either way.
"I love entering into new storytelling territory and playing with new genres. I've always wanted to write a novel that used fairy tale logic. I hate explanation when something supernatural or magical happens. To me, that undermines the magic.
"It's fun to play with the fairy tale, which is never accountable and doesn't ever have to explain itself. It just is and you accept it because it hits you immediately."
Other books by Mona Awad