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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

My Date with the Neanderthal Woman, by David Galef

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My Date with the Neanderthal Woman, by David Galef


My Date with the Neanderthal Woman, by David Galef


Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN: 978-1-936873-05-0
Trim: 8.3 x 5.4

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Winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Competition

Is it true that Neanderthal women have natural charm?

How do you cope with a spouse who’s a charismatic kleptomaniac?

Does it matter if the souvenir you bring home from Africa is another human being?

What can a wife do if all that remains of her husband is what he left in the bathroom that morning?

Never mind waking up one morning as a giant insect. What about metamorphosing into your mother?

David Galef’s My Date with Neanderthal Woman, the winner of Dzanc Books’ first Short Story Collection Competition, responds to these and other questions: thirty-three visions of lives that—let’s hope—are far from your own.


"Winner of the first Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, Galef (Flesh) presents 33 stories that often test the limits of macabre humor and explore relationships with near-flawless timing. Though familiar conflicts and character types recur—including outsiders braving the rural south and academics in search of meaningful pursuits—Galef enlivens them with original twists. Noteworthy selections include 'The Perfect Couple,' the story of a morbid partnership cemented by a spirit of one-upmanship in terms of 'who [suffers] more and how;' 'Breakfast of Champions,' featuring a young narrator who watches his father's attempt to remake himself in widowhood; 'Natasha,' a clever portrait of industriousness and the aftermath of a biting remark; and 'Accommodations,' a moving, if sometimes cruel, account of parenting in mid-life and marital stasis. A handful of stories venture into the outlandish with slightly less depth, broaching topics such as a slave-owning woman and the titular date with a Neanderthal woman. Galef's talent thrives in the more realistic, domestic scenarios, many of which expose unsettling flaws in men and women that are both funny and sympathetic, but the wilder stories still entertain. Highly recommended for flash fiction enthusiasts." —Publishers Weekly