Join us on Thursday, July 14th at 6pm ET for a virtual conversation with debut author Nada Alic. All of the stories in Bad Thoughts, Alic's new collection, feature women exploring their darkest thoughts and fears—those surreal and impermissible fantasies that grow like weeds in the untended garden of contemporary life. Both poignant and absurd, the author's work has been compared to that of Sally Rooney and Miranda July. Alic will be in conversation with Margaret Meehan, whose short fiction has appeared in outlets such as Electric Literature's Recommended Reading and Joyland, and who was nominated in 2021 for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.
This event is free and open to all! It will take place via Crowdcast—simply follow the link below to register. And don't forget to preorder your copy of the book (which releases on Tuesday, July 12th) from us!
An exhilarating and delightfully deviant debut story collection that, with comedic precision and compulsive irreverence, explores the most surreal and inadmissible fantasies of contemporary women.
“Nada Alic’s Bad Thoughts is lit up with the perception, wit, and cunning of Miranda July and Sally Rooney.” —T. Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
Nada Alic’s women—the perverts, nobodies, reality TV stars, poetic hopefuls, shameless party girls, and self-help addicts of Los Angeles and its environs—are all wrestling with a shared stark reality: the modern world. To cope, they live in their baddest thoughts: the lush, strange landscape of female make-believe.
In “Earth to Lydia,” a support group meets to enjoy earthly pleasures after achieving “too much enlightenment,” engaging in bizarre exercises that escalate to a point of violence and fear. The narrator of “Ghost Baby”—the spirit of a proto-child assigned to a couple whose chemistry is waning—writhes in disembodied frustration as its parents fail to conceive it. In “Daddy’s Girl,” the daughter of Eastern European immigrants tries to connect to her distant and difficult father through the invention of increasingly elaborate home maintenance repairs. And in “The Intruder,” a lonely woman’s break-in fantasy quickly builds to a full-blown obsession, until she finds an unwitting partner with whom to act it out.
Though each of Alic’s characters thrive and ache in different circumstances, they all grapple with the most painful equations of modern life: love, trust, power, loneliness, desire, violation, and vengeance. And she conjures them all with a voice that is instantly arresting, unexpectedly hilarious, and absolutely unforgettable.
Nada Alic is a writer in Los Angeles. Her Story “The Intruder” was shortlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize, and “My New Life” was published in the journal No Tokens. In 2020 she was a recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts literary grant for her debut story collection. She is currently working on a forthcoming novel.
“Nada Alic is one of the funniest writers I’ve read in a long time, but she also writes extremely well about the melancholic, detached, and disillusioned aspects of her characters. These stories find beauty in the absurd and poignancy in the mundane, which feels just right for the time we’re living in. Bad Thoughts is a very special, memorable book that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.” — Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I’m Someone Else
“Nada Alic’s Bad Thoughts is lit up with the perception, wit, and cunning of Miranda July and Sally Rooney. Alic offers a collection tracing the brutal and hilarious contours of humanity, with every sentence engined on the current between the two. Astute and unpredictable without ever veering into kitsch, Alic is a vital voice of our time.” —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
“This book makes modern life feel poetic, funny, and absurd. A beautiful absurdity, as if all the shit that happens to us has meaning. If you are human, and have private thoughts that make you feel wild, Alic’s words will make you feel at home on this planet.” —Jedidiah Jenkins, New York Times bestselling author of To Shake the Sleeping Self
“I raced through this book, reveling in its dark wit and unexpected sexiness. It’s easy to see myself in Alic’s characters—dripping with directionless desire, aching for meaning and connection. In reading this book, I found both.” —Leah Dieterich, author of Vanishing Twins
Margaret Meehan’s fiction appears or is forthcoming in Fence, Joyland, and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading. She received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University in 2020, where she was awarded the Felipe P. De Alba Fellowship and a Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship. She was nominated for the 2021 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. In 2018, she was a Tin House Scholar. She is completing a short story collection and a novel.