The Heaven of Animals, the debut book from David James Poissant, is receiving glowing reviews in a variety of respected outlets.

The book received a star from Kirkus Reviews. The Kirkus Star is one of the most prestigious designations in the book industry.

In each of the stories, Poissant explores the tenuous bonds of family—fathers and sons, husbands and wives—as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love. His strikingly true-to-life characters have reached a precipice, chased there by troubles of their own making. Standing at the brink, each must make a choice: Leap, or look away? Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin writes that Poissant forces us “to face the people we are when we’re alone in the dark.”

In Animals, Poissant “turns typical short story writing pitfalls into strengths” according to Garden & Gun, “pulling live rabbits from a tall hat.”

In a review for The Rumpus, Kim Winternheimer calls Poissant “deft and skillful … bringing unexpected beauty to a world that is often wicked.”

The book has also been featured in Elle, The New York Post, and the Washington Post.

Click here to read “The End of Aaron,” a short story from Animals as featured in Pegasus magazine.

More praise for The Heaven of Animals:


“An engaging, well-crafted collection … Poissant’s deft control of narrative structure allows for multiple centers of tension: past regret versus present resolve, or inward doubt versus apparent braggadocio … The author’s deep caring for his characters surfaces in his compassionate attempts to unpack the perplexities of the human condition. Poissant’s thoroughly realist style and tight storytelling will appeal to fans of Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, and George Saunders.”

Library Journal

“We care about and sympathize with Poissant’s characters, even the most conflicted and difficult ones. The pieces vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter … Poissant is an excellent writer, and though much of the material is depressing, the brief and beautiful moments of human connection shine through in every story.” (Starred Review)

The Orlando Sentinel

“Vicious and heartbreaking.”