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He Played For His Wife...And Other Stories continues a rich tradition of fictional writing on one of the world's greatest games. A ghost at the table, a heads-up with Shakespeare, a high stakes stick-up, a hand played on Death Row, tales of pioneers and knaves, even a celestial argy-bargy - each story in this anthology reveals that when it comes to playing poker, no one can hide from their true selves. Whoever you are, you can be sure all your passions and compulsions, your desires, your foibles and idiosyncrasies will be unsparingly crystalised and exposed on the baize. First mentioned in print in a military history book published in 1836, the game of poker quickly found its way into the modern literary canon. Requiring technical skill and creative fiction in equal measure, poker is the quintessential writer's game. From John Steinbeck, Bret Harte, Henry James to Damon Runyon, writers throughout the ages have found in poker a natural prism to refract complex human experience. Poker is one of the few sports to have spawned a literature almost as rich and colourful as its own exotic history. Featuring contributions from Booker Prize-winning novelist D.B.C. Pierre, award-winning playwright Patrick Marber, actor Neil Pearson and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, He Played For His Wife...And Other Stories is a compelling collection that will appeal to poker fans everywhere.
A collection of riveting tales of the sea including the story that launched his writing career and the account of the epic battle to sink the German battle ship, Bismarck. THE MASTER STORYTELLER IN HIS ELEMENT... Alistair MacLean has an unmistakable and unrivalled skill in writing about the sea and its power and about the men and women who sail it, and who fight and die in it. His distinctive voice was evident from his very first prize-winning story, 'The Dileas', and has been heard time and again in his international career as the author of such bestsellers as H.M.S. Ulysses and San Andreas. The Lonely Sea starts where MacLean's career started, with 'The Dileas', and collects together his stories of the sea. Here is a treasury of vintage MacLean, compelling and brilliant, where the master storyteller is in his element.
"LaSalle's [stories] transcend their particulars to show people with dreams, dilemmas, and disappointments that will move any reader." --Jhumpa Lahiri, Harvard Review "Haunting and evocative...LaSalle's prose is lyrical, at times rhapsodic, and his characters memorable." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) The twelve stories of Sleeping Mask, written in propulsive, fluid prose, introduce readers to remarkable characters. They include a child soldier sent to raid a girls' boarding school, a Virginia Woolf scholar surviving cancer, a desperate writer living under fascism in a futuristic Latin America, the spirits of recently deceased college students on a tour of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, and a middle-aged man transported back to his childhood, where he is led out to sea by his mother's ghost. LaSalle's tantalizing "fictions" are evocative of many of the great innovators of postmodern literature, from Borges to Nabokov, while charting a path entirely their own. Through all of their stylistic pyrotechnics these stories never forsake rich characterization and plotting to probe the deepest parts of the contemporary human condition, such as the nature of erotic desire, the legacy of art and artistry, the power of grief and fear, and the horror of war and violence. Peter LaSalle is the author of several books of fiction, including the story collections Tell Borges If You See Him, recipient of he Flannery O'Connor Award, and What I Found Out About Her, winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Texas, and Narragansett, in his native Rhode Island.
Paris Street Tales is the third volume of a trilogy of translated stories set in Paris. The previous two are Paris Tales, in which each story is associated with one of the twenty arrondissements, and Paris Metro Tales, in which the twenty-two stories are related to a trip round the Paris Metro. This new volume contains eighteen newly translated stories related to particular streets in Paris, and one newly written tale of the city. The stories range from the nineteenth century to the present day, and include tales by well-known writers such as Colette, Maupassant, Didier Daeninckx, and Simenon, and less familiar names such as Francis Carco, Aurelie Filipetti, and Arnaud Baignot. They present a vivid picture of Paris streets in a variety of literary styles and tones. Simenon's Maigret is called upon to solve a mystery on the Boulevard Beaumarchais; a flaneur learns some French history through second-hand objects retrieved from the Seine; a nineteenth-century affair in the Rue de Miromesnil goes badly wrong; a body is discovered on the steps of the smallest street in Paris. Through these stories we see how the city has changed over the last two centuries and what has survived. All the tales in the book are translated apart from the last, a new story by David Constantine, based on the last days of the poet Gerard de Nerval.
Kevin Kramer is the new senior vice president of the Products Profit center at Production Solutions. He's worked hard for all his success. It's taken him years to perfect a non-clammy handshake. But Kevin Kramer harbors many dark secrets. In fact, for everyone in these stories, avoiding the truth is a full-time job: An HR manager tries desperately to maintain order, even as the entire software department vanishes under mysterious circumstances. An estranged sister devises her comeback by throwing together a DIY wedding shower. A man who wears a Chewbacca costume feels he is uniquely qualified to divide the world into winners and losers. And a call center representative tries to give himself a pep talk after a particularly egregious client interaction. The satirical short stories in Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday tell the tales of souls adrift in a corporate netherworld. The collection details the delusions the characters wear as comfortably as their khakis and no-iron button downs to skewer corporate culture and more generally, the lies we tell ourselves as humans in order to persevere.
Daniel Alarcon is a brilliant new voice in literary fiction. War by Candlelight is a beautiful, vital and luminous first collection. Something is happening around the globe: the mass movement of peoples, dislocations of language and culture in the wake of war and economic crises - simply put, our world is changing. In this exquisite collection, Daniel Alarcon takes the reader from Third World urban centres to the fault lines that divide nations and people, personalising the shifting realities of our own contemporary world. These nine stories examine the lives of various characters in transition - from unrepentant terrorists to immigrants wrestling with the idea of never returning home - men and women never entirely free of the convulsive conditions that define their lives. Wars, both national and internal, are waged in jungles, across borders, in the streets of Lima, in the intimacy of New York apartments.
Joel Lane (1963-2013) was one of the UK's foremost writers of dark, unsettling fiction, a frank explorer of sexuality and the transgressive aspects of human nature. With a tight focus on the post-industrial Black Country and his home city of Birmingham, he created a distinct form of British urban weird fiction. Scar City is one of the final collections put together before his death in 2013 - with his home city of Birmingham as their nucleus, these are intense, haunting and often painful stories from a master of the short form. WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY NICHOLAS ROYLE
The first ever collection of stories from the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Swing Time and White Teeth 'Zadie Smith is the best writer of our generation' Gary Shteyngart 'Her dialogue is pitch-perfect, her comic timing masterful... [And] she also delivers a sophisticated commentary on race, gender, class, celebrity and power' Telegraph on Swing Time 'Smith is virtuosic, as ever, on family and friendship, and her ability to write about large-scale social injustice without losing her neutral novelist's gaze is breathtaking' Times Literary Supplement on Swing Time In the summer of 1959, an Antiguan immigrant in north west London lives the last day of his life, unknowingly caught in someone else's story of hate and division, resistance and revolt. A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart - and other parts of the human body - considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction, and self-invention. A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him. Moral panic spreads like contagion through the upper echelons of New York City - and the cancelled people look disconcertingly like the rest of us. A teenage scion of the technocratic elite chases spectres through a premium virtual reality, trailed by a little girl with a runny nose and no surviving family. We all take a much-needed break from this mess, on a package holiday where the pool's electric blue is ceaselessly replenished, while political and environmental collapse happen far away, to someone else. Interleaving ten completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.
This rich and accomplished collection showcases the range of a writer at the height of her powers. From the complex stories of artistic influence and the exhilaration and fright of solitude, to the incendiary rage of a betrayed young wife who sacrifices everything for revenge, to the struggles for independence of the three women who surrounded Ezra Pound like subservient stars, these fictions seize the reader's attention while slashing stereotypes. This Sallie Bingham Reader captures the spirit of the author's illustrious writing career via short stories, a novella, and a play.
To Westerners China has often seemed a monolith, speaking with one voice - whether that of an ancient dynasty, a socialist state, or an economic powerhouse. Chutzpah! New Voices from China shatters this illusion, giving Western readers a rare chance to listen to the brilliant polyphony of Chinese fiction today. Here, in the realms of realism and fantasy, and portraying worlds lyrical, gritty, or wildly avant-garde, sixteen selections - three of which are nonfiction - by up-and-coming Chinese writers take readers from the suburbs of Nanjing to the mountains of Xinjiang Province, from London's Chinatown to a universe seemingly sprung from a video game. In these stories one may encounter a sweet, lonely fabric store owner or a lesbian housecleaner, a posse of shit-talking vo-tech students or a human hive-mind. A jeep-driving swordsman girds himself for battle by reading Borges and Nabokov. A Beijing-raised Kazakh boy hunts for his lost heritage. A teenager plots revenge on the bureaucrat responsible for demolishing his home. A starving child falls in love with a water spirit. These stories, collected by Ou Ning and Austin Woerner, and offered in English by leading translators of Chinese, travel the breadth and depth of China's remarkable literary landscape. Drawn from the pages of Chutzpah!, one of China's most innovative literary magazines, this anthology bids farewell to the tired tropes of moonlight and peach blossoms, goodbye to the constraints of socialist realism. In their place it introduces us to the imaginative power, boundless creativity, and kaleidoscopic diversity of a new generation of Chinese fiction.
La Frontera Publishing presents Broken Promises, its latest collection of thirteen fictional short stories and one novella about the Wild West from America's newest Western writers, authors who may become tomorrow's legends of Western literature.
The West was built on a handshake and a promise. But sometimes those promises were broken, and the consequences could be fearful. Whether it was the nation's broken promises to tribal leaders or a vow to revenge a wounded heart, the price would have to be paid in blood and tears.
They came and scattered themselves about the plains and prairies of West Texas like seeds thrown into the constant winds. In clusters or in singles they dug in. Depending on rainfall, they flourished or failed. Maybe the journeyers arrived in the springtime of a good year and saw the beauty of the place, expecting it to last. Maybe it did last for a season or so before a bad dry spell set in. Maybe it was several years before a real drought appeared, which they foolishly thought would pass. Regardless, there were soon small pockets of people becoming inseparable from the land. Some were made sad, mean, cantankerous, negative; some quiet, kind, patient; but all shared stubbornness, informed by the very land itself. In these eight stories that share the same setting across time, Joyce Gibson Roach writes of the place that sparked her treasured West Texas sensibility. Her fictive Horned Toad calls to stand and speak itself into existence to live again in words. The characters are all familiar West Texas types speaking in the tongues of dry places. All reflect their moments in time, proving that human nature does not change in this land of rain shadow.
Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. "Grand Stand-In" is narrated by an employee of a Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider--a company that supplies "stand-ins" for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in "Blowing Up On the Spot," a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted.
Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.
The nine short stories in this collection by distinguished Osage author John Joseph Mathews are sure to be recognized as classics of twentieth-century nature writing and the wildlife conservation movement. The characters in Old Three Toes and Other Tales of Survival and Extinction are coyotes, mountain lions, deer, owls, sandhill cranes, prairie chickens - and human beings, who sometimes kill their prey but are often outsmarted by the largest and smallest animals. Mathews shows us the world through the animals' eyes and ears and noses. His convincing portrayals of their intelligence recall the fiction of Jack London and Ernest Thompson Seton. Like these literary ancestors, Mathews originally intended his nature stories for boys, but the stories transcend boundaries of age, gender, and geography. Mathews writes not just to inspire his readers with nature's beauty but also to demonstrate the interrelatedness of humans, animals, and the landscapes in which they interact. Timely and relevant to discussions of ecology and the environment, his stories will reach a wide audience today, more than fifty years after they were written. These stories show Mathews's ability to write precise descriptions - of a coyote catching a field mouse, a crane eating a frog, a mountain lion playing. A hunter himself, Mathews understood both the animals' readiness to fight and man's instinct to survive. And he let readers share the dignity of the animal characters and their refusal to acquiesce to their own extinction, particularly in the face of human ignorance and carelessness. Susan Kalter's afterword provides a poignant portrait of Mathews and traces the inspirations for the short stories in this collection. Thoughtfully annotated, these stories are the only published examples of Mathews's hitherto unknown short fiction and will add to his stature as an important American Indian writer.
INTRODUCING A DAZZLING NEW LITERARY VOICE In two-time O. Henry-prize winner Swamy's debut collection of stories, dreams collide with reality, modernity collides with antiquity, myth with true identity, and women grapple with desire, with ego, with motherhood and mortality. In "Earthly Pleasures," Radika, a young painter living alone in San Francisco, begins a secret romance with one of India's biggest celebrities. In "A Simple Composition," a husband's moment of crisis leads to his wife's discovery of a dark, ecstatic joy and the sense of a new beginning. In the title story, an exhausted mother watches, distracted and paralyzed, as a California wildfire approaches her home. With a knife blade's edge and precision, the stories of A House Is a Body travel from India to America and back again to reveal the small moments of beauty, pain, and power that contain the world.
Detectives in pursuit of criminals, a brother desperate to find his wunga-addicted sibling, a search for abducted girls, a quest to be reunited with a long-lost lover – these are just some of the searches that form the basis of the stories in this collection. On a more metaphysical level there are characters seeking some form of faith or purpose. Entertaining tales that keep the reader enthralled with tension and suspense, while reflecting the realities of contemporary South Africa.
The second volume in an extraordinary collection published shortly after the author's death. In these twenty-three stories, Asimov's vivid awareness of the potential of technology is translated into human dilemmas. The definitive collection of short fiction by Isaac Asimov, supreme master of the science fiction genre continues with Volume Two of the Complete Stories. The Good Doctor was always ahead of his time and his work stands today as the clearest expression of our collective hopes and fears for the future. But the ever-expanding popularity of his stories with young and old readers alike is explained by their wit, zest and human interest. Within this volume are stories often voted among the best science fiction stories of all time. In these stories Asimov's vivid awareness of the potential of technology is translated into human dilemmas that are more relevant today than ever before.
The enduring popularity and success of Shakespeare is an international and cross-cultural phenomenon. The aim of the Actors on Shakespeare series is to provide an accessible, contemporary commentary to each of the plays via the top-class actors who have performed them.
The publication of James Joyce's Dubliners in 1914 was the result
of ten years battling with publishers, resisting their demands to
remove swear words, real place names and much else. Although only
twenty-four when he signed his first publishing contract for the
book, Joyce already knew its worth: to alter it in any way would
"retard the course of civilization in Ireland." Joyce's aim was to
tell the truth-- to create a work of art that would reflect life in
Ireland at the turn of the last century and by rejecting euphemism,
to reveal to the Irish their unromantic reality, which would lead
to the spiritual liberation of the country. Each of the fifteen
stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners-- a
death, an encounter, an opportunity not taken, a memory rekindled -
and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.
"Hamill, a master raconteur, mines his own roots in this enchanting
new anthology." ---"New York Times"
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