Robin Romm's arresting and resonant stories take on the fundamental themes of the human condition: mortality, loyalty, and love. In fresh and irreverent prose, Romm captures the mo-ments before and after loss, mining the depths of grief with wit and grace. The stories in The Mother Garden are at once vividly realistic and infused with the bizarre -- a man uses a chicken egg to test whether he is ready for fatherhood; a daughter plants a garden of mothers to replace her own; a family's ghosts literally fall through the ceiling, disrupting daily life; a woman finds her father sleeping in the desert after twenty-six years of living without him. People stumble in relationships, start families, struggle with illness, learn to mourn -- and as in life, these acts are consuming, magical, and disorienting. Sharply funny and deeply moving, this extraordinary collection introduces a young writer of fierce originality and prodigious talent.