Forest of Borders

Nicholas Grider

Malarkey Books has the honor of publishing FOREST OF BORDERS, a chapbook by Nicholas Grider. This chapbook features a cover created by the author. We will be printing and binding each copy ourselves. Estimated page count is 52 pages.

Nicholas Grider’s dazzling chapbook, FOREST OF BORDERS, plaits together longing, hope, and despair. In story after story, characters weigh the rewards and risks of drawing close to each other, and of letting each other go. Abandonment is a pursuit here as much as it is a fear. Character after character devises meticulous escape plans, seeks exits. Many of Grider’s stories involve abuses of power; menace hangs like a kind of poisonous fog over the collection. Melancholy and witty, surreal and strange, Grider’s brilliant, faceted stories remind us that the sharpest knives are made of diamond.

—Kim Magowan, author of UNDOING and THE LIGHT SOURCE

In FOREST OF BORDERS, mistakes are made and promises are broken, but all is never forgiven. With humor and compassion, and with a keen eye to the messy human machinery, we are reminded that the heart wants what the heart wants. And Grider is the heart’s stenographer.

—Josh Denslow, author of NOT EVERYONE IS SPECIAL

FOREST OF BORDERS tears down the walls of the American mythos and plants in its place the wild beauty of Nicholas Grider's startling prose, laced with mourning and menace and pitch-black humor. Razing shibboleths of nation, love, family, success, autonomous selfhood, and the efficacy of language, Grider captures the anxieties of our times like no one else.

—Jennifer Wortman, author of THIS. THIS. THIS. IS. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

 FOREST OF BORDERSis amazing. The transmutation of lovers into products for other humans to buy, use, and destroy—terrifying. The connections and disconnections between these stories—fantastic. The verbal surprises in just about every sentence—wonderful. The sense that each story is a differently but perfectly rendered muffled scream—yes. All of it, yes.

—Marcus Pactor, author of VS. DEATH NOISES

Nicholas Grider's writing cracks open the cavern of human emotions: longing, desire, the anxiety behind existing in worlds both imagined and real. Reading these stories leaves one feeling less alone with their own racing, sprawling thoughts. I loved this collection.

—Christopher Gonzalez, Barrelhouse Fiction Editor

 Language as a pivot point, a pendulum, a physical gesture: Grider’s sentences here embody the reluctant stances, shrugs, and temporary buoyancy of a myriad of collapsing souls. A beautifully written collection that examines the distorted and the mundane, Forests of Borders is a text that will creep up your back, filling and expanding the spaces between your vertebrate.


"Forest of Borders" by Nicholas Grider (Preorder)
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"Forest of Borders" by Nicholas Grider (Preorder)
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Nicholas Grider's first story collection Misadventure (A Strange Object, 2014) was longlisted for the Frank O'Connor Prize, and their/her work has appeared in Conjunctions, Guernica, Okay Donkey, Queen Mob's Tea House, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and elsewhere. They live in the upper midwest and are an assistant fiction editor at Pithead Chapel; more information about Grider and their work can be found at as of Sept. 1st.

Forest of Borders collects sixteen of Grider's flash stories written in the last five years, all fewer than 1500 words and all exploring, from a variety of angles, what happens when "average" American white men attempt to establish and police borders between each other and between themselves and the world. In the stories, as in life, things rarely go according to plan.

"Plagues and Obligations" (as Simon Henry Stein) 

"Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)"

"Same Husband Twice"

Note: Orders will ship in September. This collection will be around 46 pages long. We have three pricing options, $6, $8, or $10. Feel free to choose the level that works for you.

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