Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav

The Rock Eaters

Best Seller
The Rock Eaters by Brenda Peynado
Paperback $16.00
May 11, 2021 | ISBN 9780143135623

Also available from:

See All Formats (2) +
  • May 11, 2021 | ISBN 9780143135623

    Also available from:

  • May 11, 2021 | ISBN 9780525507277

    Available from:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from The Rock Eaters

Product Details


“A genre-bending sociopolitical commentary with prose that shines.”
The Washington Post

“Each of Peynado’s storis is finely formed as a diamond…Wily but throbbing with heart, they dart into unexpected crevices of human experience…They speak to our unkempt, scarred world, even as they reimagine it notjust once, but repeatedly.”.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“Genre-bending brilliance…Peynado’s harnessing of the diasporic imagination establishes her as a true magician of the marvelous real.”
The Boston Globe

“Peynado probes the limits of reckoning with such dilemmas as otherness, loss, and love in her glorious debut, a collection of inventive and fabulist stories…These alluring stories make powerful use of their fantastical motifs, enhancing the realities of the characters’ lives. The author’s skillful storytelling soars.”
Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

“What a smart and intriguing writer I’ve just ‘discovered’–though from the impressive list of credits on the title page, I can see that others have been luckier, sooner.  Brenda Peynado’s The Rock Eaters is adazzle with alluring stories, flights of fancy that don’t just dissolve into cleverness or parse the world neatly into cliche or categories.  The stories help us think through situations all around us in “the real world” in new, captivating ways.  What I most admire is the moral imagination of these stories, never nudging, never obvious, but subtle and unsettling. Peynado is a writer willing to cross literary borders: magical realism, fable, parable, fiction, nonfiction–she erases those limiting storytelling parameters and her stories soar.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies and Afterlife

“A stunning debut collection comprised of provocative stories that are oddly healing and horizon-expanding. An exciting new voice.”
—Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation

“Superbly crafted…A sparkling, strange, and enthralling debut from a vivid new voice in contemporary fiction.”
Kirkus, *Starred Review*

“This book is a giant. What staggering reach and ambition Brenda Peynado’s stories have: here are aliens, tortured superhumans, angels, sufferings literalized as stones, ritualized drownings, enchanted sleeps, the hauntings of home, all rendered with the kind of power that sweeps us effortlessly from exhilaration to despair and back again. The Rock Eaters is the work of an imagination that brooks no limits, that claims, masterfully, all territories as its own. I’m in awe of this book. It’s one of the most thrilling debuts I’ve read in years.” 
—Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson

“I love Brenda Peynado’s big, beautiful imagination and the way her stories open up whole universes of possibility in only a few vivid pages. She is a magical mindbender–in conversation with Karen Russell and Margaret Atwood–who helps us understand the troubling issues of our world through a speculative lens. The Rock Eaters will put a spell on you.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of Suicide WoodsThrill MeThe Dark Net, and Red Moon
“This book. This beautiful, fierce, tender, aching, and glorious book. The Rock Eaters has the range, depth, art, and humanity that is short fiction at its peak. These are stories that demand you sit and breathe after finishing. From rocks that hold sorrow to hands and arms that stretch forever, Peynado’s voice is singular. An extraordinary collection.”
—Erika Swyler, bestselling author of Light from Other Stars and The Book of Speculation

The Rock Eaters is vicious and beautiful, full of characters who will refuse to leave you at peace. Both painfully realistic and mind-bendingly fantastical, these stories capture the sense of displacement that comes with recognizing who we really are. Read it now, and see for yourself.”
—Annalee Newitz, author of The Future of Another Timeline and Four Lost Cities

The Rock Eaters is a book of wonders– of aliens and floating children and sorrows as heavy as stones, yes. But more than that, Peynado is a mischievous trickster, an elegant conjurer, and an unflinching surgeon of the human heart as she speaks to us of longing, and rage, and loss, and wanting with freshness and fervor. A tremendously smart book full of art, and full of playfulness too.”
—CJ Hauser, author of Family of Origin

Get the latest updates from Brenda Peynado
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top