Lara Ehrlich

Lara Ehrlich is the author of the novel Bind Me Tighter Still (2025) and a collection, Animal Wife (2020), a book of stories about women’s transformations from girls into wives, mothers, and monsters. This collection won the Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award and was praised for its "sensual and intelligent" prose by Ann Hood.

Lara Ehrlich teaches at the University of Connecticut and conducts sessions at Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, Yale Writers Workshop, AWP, and Story Studio Chicago. She is also the host of Writer Mother Monster, a series aimed at dismantling the myth of “having it all” for writer-mothers.

Animal Wife, which began as a young adult novel, transformed into a collection of short stories during Ehrlich's writing process. As she wrote, the themes of anxiety, fear, shame, and desire that mark the transition to adulthood became prevalent. This focus later shifted to the adult roles of women, prompting Ehrlich to rewrite some stories from a female perspective, thereby changing their narratives.

The collection is characterized by animal elements, a realization Ehrlich had midway through her writing. These elements stem from her fascination with fairy tales, where transformations are often used as metaphors for entrapment and escape. It is exemplified in the story Animal Wife, inspired by the swan maiden folktale, where a wild beast is trapped and domesticated, but eventually returns to her natural state.

Ehrlich approaches each character uniquely, ensuring they are physically, mentally, and emotionally believable. For example, in The Vanishing Point, the protagonist Diana is a biomechanical deer, a creation grounded in interviews with women scientists.

Her stories also highlight the inner lives of women, often explored through transformation and fantasy. In Foresight, a potion reveals the protagonist’s possible lives, showing the immense power of the inner world.

In Animal Wife, internal tensions drive the narrative rather than external events. Ehrlich uses recurring scenarios to resonate differently in each story, showing the diverse experiences of women.

The decision to name or not name characters in her stories is intentional, impacting the readers' connection with them. For instance, in Burn Rubber, the unnamed protagonist represents the erosion of identity in the roles of mother and wife.

Her next project is a novel inspired by The Little Mermaid, focusing on a siren’s restless journey in human form. This work is inspired by her experience swimming in a mermaid tail at Weeki Wachee Sirens of the Deep.

Lara Ehrlich lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter.

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Evelina Todorovahas quotedlast year
She’d toyed with the idea of moving to Canada—but she’d done the moving-for-a-new-life thing before. New places quickly become old, as do clothes, habits, and men. She always returns to herself. Diana needs a change she can’t come back from.
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