Fiercer Monsters Now Available on Black Lawrence

Before we begin, I will share some other news with you. I have a book of rich and amazing poems in queue at the publisher. My book of science fiction is circulating with publishers right now. I am also writing a few new books. One is a set of five interlocking tales set in Morocco in the 1930's. The other is a novel about a man who grows a nasty bump on the back of his neck that forces him to become an acclaimed storyteller. They should be ready soon. That amounts to four new books coming. All new tales, all new characters. If you have attended one of my public appearances lately, you've surely heard about them or heard work from them.


My book of short fiction is now available on Black Lawrence Press. I am very happy and proud that these tales will live on. Let them live in your mind and on your shelf. Each one is very different. People react to them in different ways. They usually stick in a reader's mind for years, like good literature should.

Love. Birth. Death. Problems. Heartbreak. Magical Realism, always. These are the birthright of Latin American as well as North African prose. Let them be your companions. See them as extended allegories. See them as instruction for self-actualization, for revolution, for evolved living. See them as quaint bedtime stories or alarming afternoon reading.


Fiercer Monsters

Publication Date: May 2017


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Fiercer Monsters was originally published by Nomadic.

Youssef Alaoui’s short-story collection, Fiercer Monsters, is concerned with the symbology of letters and the word as invocation, contrasted with the futility of language. In these stories, Alaoui presents a Neanderthal oracle, a little girl in Venezuela in the 1950s, a 19th-century hallucinating sailor, and a WWI soldier. The voices are sometimes salty, always salient. Each voice ultimately laments the fall of the tower of Babel and the resulting confusion.


Youssef Alaoui’s investigation sifts through language finding and discarding gods along the way. Not so much a trip down rabbit holes, but rather the invention of mirrors. Storytelling in which you find instruments where time should be. Or the monologue of a man who is shuffling cards near his own crime scene.
Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of someone’s dead already (2015)

When unraveling the layers and folds of a Fabulist, you are never sure whether your experience is new or if you are lost in the embroidery. With Youssef Alaoui you get some kind of delirious weave reminiscent of Donald Barthelme and Arthur Conan Doyle. The ultimate critique is whether you stay engaged or find yourself dumped overboard. That is the game and mystery of Fiercer Monsters. Youssef Alaoui delivers!
Michael Rothenberg, author of Big Bridge Magazine

Fiercer Monsters is a colorful tapestry of stories striking and bleak, elusive and blunt. Alaoui weaves his spicy and tangy world together with gusto. He smudges edible paints on his literary canvas, molds his literary dough without fear, everything goes into his boiling, steaming cauldron and–voila!–he serves you the bright jambalaya of his own folkloric jazz. Dare to meander along his pungent alleys and sunny paths, and connect to your very own Brothers Grimm and the mysterious.
Zarina Zabrisky, author or A Cute Tombstone (2013); We, Monsters (2014)

The fiction of Youssef Alaoui illuminates the labyrinth of mysticism in the body. His book, Fiercer Monsters, navigates unique terrain ranging from the borders of legend to visceral city encounters. Alaoui combines intoxicating visions with an intellectual clarity that challenges the nature of language itself.
John Swain, author or Under the Mountain Born (2015)

Whether he is recasting the Tower of Babel story with forest creatures saved by a shamanic chihuahua, or deciphering Arabish text slang in the mind of a tortured prisoner whose last refuge—that of his imagination—is threatening to implode, Youssef Alaoui is never merely out to entertain, though the richness of his metaphors and the kookiness of his tales do not fail to charm and delight. No, Alaoui is engaged in a fiercer struggle, between cultures intent on destroying each other and themselves, in the cavernous gaps between what can be felt and known and what can be spoken and understood. Vibrantly lonely, steeped in the sad funk of human pathos, the fables and incantations in Fiercer Monsters sing from the belly, from the groin, from the broken bone, and from the whole and sheltering heart.
Sarah Fran Wisby, author of The Heart’s Progress, Plain Wrap Press, 2014