Instruction Manual for Swallowing - ECW Press

Instruction Manual for Swallowing

Marek, Adam

  • An engaging new voice in absurdist fiction

    A new North American edition of an acclaimed short story collection, Instruction Manual for Swallowing explores what happens when ordinary people collide with bizarre, fantastical situations. A man discovers he has testicular cancer on the day that a Godzilla–like monster attacks the city he lives in; a kitchen–hand is put under terrible peer pressure in a restaurant for zombies; a husband and wife discover they are pregnant with 37 babies; and a man travels into the engine room of his own body to discover Busta Rhymes at the controls. The 14 stories are grotesque, hilarious, unnerving, and moving. No matter how outrageous the subject matter of the stories, they have at their heart genuine human experiences that are common to us all.

    Bonus BackLit materials will include two new stories and an interview with the author.

  • ADAM MAREK’S prize–winning stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines. He won the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship and was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. This story collection was nominated for the Frank O’Connor Prize. Visit him online at
  • Published: April 2012

    ISBN: 9781770410800

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 260

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"Marek’s talent for an almost sweet grotesqueness is on full display...[Adam Marek is] at his best when he’s clandestinely sneaking in the point that, not only could our little internal problems be much worse, they’re also present across any kind of bizarre world.” — National Post

“The beating heart of [Testicular Cancer vs. The Behemoth] involves a collision between tenuous masculinity and the painful, quivering result of a terrifying and debilitating medical diagnosis. When the ground shakes in the story’s opening sentence, it could be attributable to the marauding lizard – or to something more quotidian, but equally catastrophic." — The Shakespearean Rag

"Absurd, darkly comic and at times head-scratchingly bizarre, Marek’s talent for rending the supernatural or outrageous in real, human terms is mind-boggling...a gem of a collection — no story left behind." — The Coast

"Marek invites the reader into a world of total whimsy, one where the grotesque becomes commonplace and normalcy becomes relative." — The Weekender

“You are guaranteed to have a myriad of reactions to what you read — from knee slapping laughter and gut wrenching empathy to eye blinking wonder and deep disgust...Adam Marek is definitely an author to watch." — Waterloo Record