The Trees Grew Because I Bled There: Collected Stories (Hardcover)

The Trees Grew Because I Bled There: Collected Stories By Eric LaRocca Cover Image
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A beautifully crafted, devastating short fiction collection from the Bram-Stoker finalist and author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes. Includes an introduction from acclaimed bestselling author Chuck Wendig.

Eight stories of literary dark fiction from a master storyteller. Exploring the shadow side of love, these are tales of grief, obsession, control. Intricate examinations of trauma and tragedy in raw, poetic prose. In these narratives, a woman imagines horrific scenarios whilst caring for her infant niece; on-line posts chronicle a cancer diagnosis; a couple in the park with their small child encounter a stranger with horrific consequences; a toxic relationship reaches a terrifying resolution…

Originally published under the title The Strange Thing We Become and Other Dark Tales, this is a much-praised collection of deeply unsettling, painfully dark tales.

About the Author

Eric LaRocca (he/they) is the author of several works of horror and dark fiction including the viral sensation Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. A lover of luxury fashion and an admirer of European musical theatre, Eric can often be found roaming the streets of his home city, Boston, MA, for inspiration. For more information, please follow @hystericteeth on Twitter/Instagram or visit

Praise For…

Praise for The Trees Grew Because I Bled There: Collected Stories:

"LaRocca’s sharp, incisive writing shines a bright light on the disgust, pain, and trauma wriggling under conventional behavior and polite speech... deeply unsettling, beautifully crafted, and difficult to put down once it’s started." -Booklist Starred Review

"In this collection of eight horror shorts, LaRocca displays his signature style of rendering grotesque and brutal subject matter in exquisite prose...visceral depictions of unhinged psyches and unflinching body horror throughout will please LaRocca’s fans—and ought to earn him some new ones." -Publishers Weekly

“These stories are body horror at its best—but they also enter the realms of dark relationships, intrusions that change our lives forever, obviously not for the best, the fear of illness, of taking care, of love, of obsession, of attachment. They are nightmarish and they are deeply human. I loved them and also my jaw dropped at how daring they are, how far they go. Eric La Rocca is not only good: there’s courage in his literature.” - Mariana Enriquez, author of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

“The Trees Grew Because I Bled There
holds you in thrall until the final transgressive act. Here is a collection of stories at once sophisticated and deeply unsettling, each bolder and more spellbinding—and more revelatory—than the last. Eric LaRocca is one of the horror genre’s most vital voices.” - Andy Davidson, author of The Hollow Kind 

“This collection is sublime grounded horror. These stories could be happening in your neighborhood or in the lives of one of your friends, which makes it even more disturbing. Every story is unique in the way it builds aching tension. I read it in one day. Definitely a must read.” - V. Castro, author of The Queen of the Cicadas and The Haunting of Alejandra

“A powerful collection of eight startling stories. Highly recommended.” - Ellen Datlow, editor of the annual series The Best Horror of the Year

"Magnificent stories that explore the darkest depths of the human soul. Lyrical, heartbreaking, devastating-this is literary horror at its finest." - Tim Waggoner, author of Your Turn to Suffer

"Sometimes you meet someone and within a few minutes you know you're going to be the best of friends. That's how I felt about this book within a few sentences. For such a slim volume it packs a huge punch, touching on Ray Bradbury and Roald Dahl, but completely its own. I felt a pain in my chest during some of the stories. a visceral anxiety to some of the writing. Eric LaRocca is truly original, truly subversive, and truly talented." - Priya Sharma, author of Ormeshadow

"Something is rotten at the heart of LaRocca’s literary world. An unease, a disquiet, a world-spanning cancer. Grief and horror unfold in tandem in one of the most original and startling collections I’ve read in a long while. The Trees Grew Because I Bled There is a dark elegy and not one to be taken lightly. Don’t miss it." - John Hornor Jacobs, author of A Lush and Seething Hell

Product Details
ISBN: 9781803363004
ISBN-10: 1803363002
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: March 7th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English