DON’T EAT CAT: New Byliner Fiction by Jess Walter

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Don’t Eat Cat is available as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at, and at Kobo.

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In Don’t Eat Cat, some highs are better than a lifetime of being human.

In this brilliantly entertaining send-up of zombie lit, Edgar Award winner and National Book Award finalist Jess Walter offers a twist on America’s favorite monster: You don’t have to be dead to be a zombie after all. In his just released Byliner e-book, Don’t Eat Cat, Walter creates a postapocalyptic nightmare that is as sidesplitting as it is moving—and all the more damning because it’s so recognizable.

“I began Don’t Eat Cat as a way to poke fun at the literary world’s fascination with postapocalyptic stories—especially zombies. I had in mind that the story would make this point: that people always think they’re living in the apocalypse,” says Walter. “But of course I got all caught up in the zombie-ness of the story—and no wonder. All that primal hunger and lurching horror, that hopeless fatalism, that indescructible want. They’re a bottomless lake of metaphor—for mortality, for sickness, for desire. It’s no wonder zombies are crack for writers.”

Set in the year 2040, amid rolling epidemics, economic collapses, ozone tumors, genetic piracy, and an Arizona border war, Don’t Eat Cat is the story of Owen, a guy who just wants to forget the results of his recent full-body scan with a grande soy latte before going to work in Seattle’s food/finance district. The world has gone straight to hell, and the most horrifying part of it is that not a damn thing has changed: You still have to go to work, you still don’t have a girlfriend, and, unbelievably, the line at the Starbucks Financial still stretches on forever. Why? Because there’s a zombie working behind the counter, an addict of a club drug that causes its users to become aggressive, milk-pale, dead-eyed dimwits with an appetite for rodents and house pets—cats in particular (and, in very, very rare cases, humans).

When Owen finally makes it to the head of the line, the afflicted barista’s people skills falter under pressure and he mauls the store manager. It’s the first documented zombie attack in months, and it sets the sim-tweets buzzing, ultimately ending in a vigilante killing. As for Owen, he gets more than a free latte out of the incident: He’s forced to confront the brokenness of his present life by venturing into the past. With the help of a private investigator, he heads into Seattle’s Zombie Town to search for the only woman he has ever loved.

In Don’t Eat Cat, some highs are better than a lifetime of being human.

Jess Walter is the author of Citizen Vince, The Zero, The Financial Lives of the Poets, and the forthcoming Beautiful Ruins, which will be published by HarperCollins in June. Praised by the New York Times as “a ridiculously talented writer,” he has won the Edgar Award for mystery writing and been named a finalist for the National Book Award. A former journalist, Walter lives in Spokane, Washington. Don’t Eat Cat is his first zombie story.

Byliner publishes compelling works of original fiction and nonfiction written to be read in a single sitting. Among its bestselling titles are Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car, Rachel Corbett’s A Killing in Iowa, Taylor Branch’s The Cartel, Margaret Atwood’s I’m Starved for You, and Mark Bittman’s Cooking Solves Everything. The companion website,, features curated archives of the best fiction and nonfiction writing and allows readers to easily find, share, and buy new and classic stories by their favorite authors.

Don’t Eat Cat is available for 99 cents as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at, and at Kobo.

For an Advance Reader Copy or to schedule an interview with Jess Walter, please contact Clare Hertel at clare(at)byliner(dot)com; 505-474-6783.

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Clare Hertel
Clare Hertel Communications
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