The first three stories in Funky Monk were selected for this short compilation because they were each inspired by Buddhist parables. The last story, “The Swimmer,” was added because of its references to lowercase “zen.” However, the story deals more with the disruption of calm than obtaining tranquility.
Most of the stories contain surreal elements, and those inspired by parables do not adhere strictly to the content or the message of the corresponding fable. The following stories appear in Funky Monk:
- “The Cat Burglar,” finalist in the 2013 NCSU James Hurst Prize for Fiction
- “The Crash”, first published in the first issue The Broadkill Review in 2016
- “Inferno,” originally appeared in Scrutiny Journal in late summer of 2016
- “The Swimmer,” only available in this compilation