No Animals We Could Name

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At Full Stop, Ben Jahn reviews Ted Sanders’ new story collectionNo Animals We Could Name.

The collection, as the title suggests, often skirts the foggy line between the imaginary and the observed, and, for Jahn, challenges the possibility of recounting sensations as truly observed:

“A kind of celebratory regret runs through these stories for the simultaneous adequacy and inadequacy of descriptive language… Sanders invites his readers to believe they could have imagined these sounds. In the end imagination will have to do.”

The “sounds” Jahn references are those of a bat against an octopus, described by the narrator of “Flounder” as something like “[wet] pillows hit by tennis rackets.”

Read an excerpt from the collection, “Airbag,” at Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading.


Walter Gordon is an intern at The Rumpus. He is a native of Berkeley, CA and goes to college in Oberlin, OH. He spends most of his time reading. His eyes hurt. Other hobbies include photography, writing fiction, and sitting on top of tall piles of rocks. More from this author →