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WINNER OF THE 2017 REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE Ranging from the seventeenth century to our current moment, and crossing multiple continents, COUNTERNARRATIVES' stories and novellas draw upon memoirs, newspaper accounts, detective stories, interrogation transcripts, and speculative fiction to create new and strange perspectives on our past and present. 'An Outtake' chronicles an escaped slave's take on liberty and the American Revolution; 'The Strange History of Our Lady of the Sorrows' presents a bizarre series of events that unfold in a nineteenth-century Kentucky convent; 'The Aeronauts' soars between bustling Philadelphia, still-rustic Washington, and the theater of the U.S. Civil War; 'Rivers,' presents a free Jim meeting up decades later with his former raftmate Huckleberry Finn; and in 'Acrobatique,' the subject of a famous Edgar Degas painting talks back.
Selected from a survey of more than five hundred English professors, short storywriters, and novelists, this revised and updated second edition features fifty remarkable stories written by a wide spectrum of stylistically and culturally diverse authors.
Russell Banks - Donald Barthelme - Rick Bass - Richard Bausch - Charles Baxter - Amy Bloom - T. C. Boyle - Kevin Brockmeier - Robert Olen Butler - Sandra Cisneros - Peter Ho Davies - Janet Desaulniers - Junot Diaz - Anthony Doerr - Stuart Dybek - Deborah Eisenberg - Richard Ford - Mary Gaitskill - Dagoberto Gilb - Ron Hansen - A. M. Homes - Mary Hood - Denis Johnson - Edward P. Jones - Thom Jones - Jamaica Kincaid - Jhumpa Lahiri - David Leavitt - Kelly Link - Reginald McKnight - David Means - Susan Minot - Rick Moody - Bharati Mukherjee - Antonya Nelson - Joyce Carol Oates - Tim O'Brien - Daniel Orozco - Julie Orringer - ZZ Packer - E. Annie Proulx - Stacey Richter - George Saunders - Joan Silber - Leslie Marmon Silko - Susan Sontag - Amy Tan - Melanie Rae Thon - Alice Walker - Steve Yarbrough
The stories in John Warner's Tough Day for the Army move from hilarious and biting to unsettling and sad - sometimes within the span of a few pages. Mining the absurdities, confusions, and hypocrisies of our contemporary times, these stories raise questions such as: What would happen if Jesus Christ played minor league hockey before he became the Son of God (""Second Careers"")? What would you do if a group of poets in search of inspiration appeared on your farm (""Poet Farmers"")? Many of the stories upend expectations of the act of storytelling, as in ""Corrections and Clarifications,"" written entirely in the form of newspaper corrections, or ""Return-to-Sensibility Problems after Penetrating Captive Bolt Stunning of Cattle in Commercial Beef Slaughter Plant #5867: Confidential Report,"" which begins as a straightforward account of slaughterhouse operations but quickly devolves into something wholly surprising and different. Warner's relentlessly inventive stories are reminiscent of the works of Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, and Amy Hempel. With comic and tender rambunctiousness, his satirical voice parries and thrusts its way through each narrative, combining a strong wit with a soft heart.
The year is 1348. The Black Death has begun to ravage Europe. Ten young Florentines seven women and three men escape the plague-infested city and retreat to the countryside around Fiesole. At their leisure in this isolated and bucolic setting, they spend ten days telling each other stories tales of romance, tragedy, comedy, and farce one hundred in all. The result, called by one critic "the greatest short story collection of all time" (Leonard Barkan, Princeton University) is a rich and entertaining celebration of the medley of medieval life.
Witty, earthy, and filled with bawdy irreverence, the one hundred stories of The Decameron offer more than simple escapism; they are also a life-affirming balm for trying times. The Decameron is a joyously comic book that has earned its place in world literature not just because it makes us laugh, but more importantly because it shows us how essential laughter is to the human condition.
Published on the 700th anniversary of Boccaccio s birth, Wayne A. Rebhorn's new translation of The Decameron introduces a generation of readers to this "rich late-medieval feast" in a "lively, contemporary, American-inflected English" (Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University) even as it retains the distinctly medieval flavor of Boccaccio's rhetorically expressive prose.
An extensive introduction provides useful details about Boccaccio's historical and cultural milieu, the themes and particularities of the text, and the lines of influence flowing into and out of this towering monument of world literature."
Selected & Introduced by David Stuart Davies. Traumatised by ghost stories in her youth, Pulitzer Prize winning author Edith Wharton (1862 -1937) channelled her fear and obsession into creating a series of spine-tingling tales filled with spirits beyond the grave and other supernatural phenomena. While claiming not to believe in ghosts, paradoxically she did confess that she was frightened of them. Wharton imbues this potent irrational and imaginative fear into her ghostly fiction to great effect. In this unique collection of finely wrought tales Wharton demonstrates her mastery of the ghost story genre. Amongst the many supernatural treats within these pages you will encounter a married farmer bewitched by a dead girl; a ghostly bell which saves a woman's reputation; the weird spectral eyes which terrorise the midnight hours of an elderly aesthete; the haunted man who receives letters from his dead wife; and the frightening power of a doppelganger which foreshadows a terrible tragedy. Compelling, rich and strange, the ghost stories of Edith Wharton, like vintage wine, have matured and grown more potent with the passing years.
V. S. Pritchett, one our greatest short-story writers, has chosen
forty-one stories written in the English language for this volume,
producing a collection that successfully displays the wealth and
variety of an art that spans some 200 years.
On his thirtieth birthday, the bank clerk Josef K. is suddenly arrested by mysterious agents for an unspecified crime. He is told that he will be set free, but must make regular appearances at a court in the attic of a tenement building while his trial proceeds. Although he never comes to know the particulars of his case, Josef K. finds his life taken over by the opaque bureaucratic procedures and is tormented by the psychological pressures exerted by his legal nightmare. Published the year after the author's death, but written ten years earlier, The Trial is the most acclaimed of Kafka's three novels, and is both a haunting meditation on freedom and the powerlessness of the individual in the face of state power, and an ominous pre-figuration of the totalitarian excesses of the twentieth century.
This sharp, funny collection of stories drawn from life begins in the 1950s in an insular northern village 'scoured by bitter winds and rough gossip tongues.' For the child narrator, the only way to survive is to get up, get on, get out.
A guidebook tells visitors how to travel in a recognisable but dreamlike United States where mirrors are haunted and the Statue of Liberty wears a bowler hat; a supervisor in a department store must discipline his employees for failing to smile enough at their customers and finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the saddest of them all; a woman agrees to buy her daughter a robot pet to help her cope after a divorce, then is horrified when her little girl chooses an enormous spider for a companion. The characters in these mesmerising stories find that the world they thought they knew has shifted and changed, become bizarre, disorienting and occasionally, miraculous. Told with absurdist humour and sweet sadness, Viral is about being lost in places that are supposed to feel like home.
International number one bestselling author Jeffrey Archer is a master of the short story form, creating classic tales beloved by his fans and hitting the top of the bestseller lists. This illustrated edition is a collection of his best-loved stories.
In The Short, The Long and The Tall the master storyteller joins forces with renowned illustrator Paul Cox, to re-imagine twenty of Jeffrey Archer's most popular and feted short stories alongside beautifully rendered watercolour illustrations.
Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to solve a murder and ends up falling in love; and the pretentious schoolboy whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life forever. Revel in the stories of the woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university during the 1930s, and another young woman who thumbs a lift and has an encounter she will never forget. Discover the haunting story about four men whose characters are tested to the point of death. Finally, a short parable about how pointless war is, and how decent people are caught up in the crossfire of their leaders’ ambitions. This will be a must-buy for dedicated fans of both the author and illustrator’s work.
Long-listed for the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize Fly Away Home is Marina Warner's third - and eagerly-awaited - collection of short stories. Inspired by fairy tales, legends, and mythology, this timeless selection explores the themes of love and war - in families, and between generations. In `Melusine' a gorgeous mermaid encounters disaster in love and visits her aunt, Morgan le Fay, to pour out her woes ; in `Breadcrumbs' a hospital patient overhears a night nurse recounting an extraordinary tale of family torn apart under terrifying circumstances. `Out of the Burning House' introduces an elderly actor recalling an unusual case of heartbreak at the hands of a TV personality; in `The Difference in the Dose' a young mother becomes increasingly anxious about the rift between herself and her adoptive mother. And in `Letter to an Unknown Soldier' a thirteen year-old girl writes a heartrending second letter to an older brother away at war, having had no reply to her first... Like her award-winning novels, Marina Warner's stories conjure up mysteries and wonders in a physical world, treading a delicate, magical line between the natural and the supernatural, between openness and fear. An elegant mix of the poignant, the caustic, and the bizarre, Fly Away Home will be treasured by fans and new readers alike.
ELEVEN ROMANTIC STORIES TO WARM YOUR HEART, FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERS ME BEFORE YOU AND STILL ME In Paris for One, Nell is deserted by her boyfriend minutes before setting off on what was supposed to be a fantastic romantic weekend away to Paris. Can she forget him and find herself? Honeymoon in Paris is a tale of the early days of two marriages in both 1912 and 2012, featuring Liv and Sophie from Jojo Moyes' bestselling romance The Girl You Left Behind. Beth is faced with a difficult decision in Bird in the Hand when she bumps into an old flame at a party, with her husband . . . You'll love this unmissable collection of stories about love, family and relationships. _________ 'A beautiful read' Hello 'Funny, heart-warming and pure escapism' The Pool 'Like her peers David Nicholls and Marian Keyes, Moyes possesses the enviable gift of making the reader laugh' Independent on Sunday
Thirty stories, collected in one volume for the very first time, from one of the South's best known and most acclaimed short story writers. With his signature darkly acerbic and sharp-witted humor, George Singleton has built a reputation as one of the most astute and wise observers of the South. Now Tom Franklin introduces this master of the form with a compilation of acclaimed and prize-winning short fiction spanning twenty years and eight collections, including stories originally published in outlets like the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Playboy, the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, and many more. A lovelorn and chatty euthanasia vet arrives at a couples' house to put down their dog, Probate; a father-to-be searches his workplace-a bar-for a replacement sonogram after recording an episode of Bonanza over the original; an unlikely romance sparks between a librarian and a professional bowler while they compete to win an RV; a father takes his son to visit the many ex-girlfriends that could have been his mother. These stories bear the influence of Flannery O'Connor and Raymond Carver, at other times Lewis Nordan and Donald Barthelme, and touch on the mysteries of childhood, the complexities of human relationships, and the absurdity of everyday life, its inexorable defeats and small triumphs. Assembled here for the very first time, You Want More showcases the body of work, hilarious and incisive, that has cemented George Singleton's place among the South's greatest living writers.
Commissioned by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, these tales of dangerous women by the most stellar names in fiction are available for the first time in three-volume paperback. George R.R. Martin is the bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO's hit series GAME OF THRONES. This second volume features an original short story by Megan Lindholm (who also writes as Robin Hobb). In the bittersweet 'Neighbors' Sarah, a rather strange widow, lives isolated and alone, surrounded by young families. But is the old lady afflicted by dementia - or by something far more odd? Other contributors to this volume of stories of formidable women include worldwide bestselling authors Diana Gabaldon, with an Outlander story, Sharon Kay Penman and Lev Grossman. DANGEROUS WOMEN 2 Gardner Dozois's introduction Megan Lindholm, 'Neighbors' Lev Grossman, 'The Girl in the Mirror' Sharon Kay Penman, 'A Queen in Exile' S. M. Stirling, 'Pronouncing Doom' Caroline Spector, 'Lies My Mother Told Me' Sam Sykes, 'Name the Beast' Diana Gabaldon, 'Virgins'
"[Dunsany's] rich language, his cosmic point of view, his remote dream-worlds, and his exquisite sense of the fantastic, all appeal to me more than anything else in modern literature."-American author H. P. Lovecraft
One of the first Russian writers to make a name for herself on the Internet, Linor Goralik writes conversational short works that conjure the absurd in all its forms, reflecting post-Soviet life and daily universals. Her mastery of the minimal, including a wide range of experiments in different forms of micro-prose, is on full display in this collection of poems, stories, comics, a play, and an interview, here translated for the first time. In Found Life, speech, condensed to the extreme, captures a vivid picture of fleeting interactions in a quickly moving world. Goralik's works evoke an unconventional palette of moods and atmospheres-slight doubt, subtle sadness, vague unease-through accumulation of unexpected details and command over colloquial language. While calling up a range of voices, her works are marked by a distinct voice, simultaneously slightly naive and deeply ironic. She is a keen observer of the female condition, recounting gendered tribulations with awareness and amusement. From spiritual rabbits and biblical zoos to poems about loss and comics about poetry, Goralik's colorful language and pervasive dark comedy capture the heights of absurdity and depths of grief.
An extraordinary collection of short stories from the Man Booker prize longlisted author of HYSTOPIA. In the tradition of Raymond Carver or Tobias Wolff, these are all-encompassing stories of the American psyche, of love and loss and of the landscape and its people. A goldfish circles in its bowl, refusing to die, becoming the silent focus of a difficult family life; a pianist loses his talents as he is forced to question the meaning of love and commitment. Through a blend of lyricism and humour, these stories of ordinary human dilemmas take flight and become mythical and universal. David Means is a rare writer who transports us to the heart of what it is to be human.
For many years Peter Buchan was the voice of Scotland's North-east fishing communities, dispensing wisdom and good humor in his poems and short stories.
The very best of Le Fanu's supernatural fiction, including such classics as: 'Schalken the Painter', 'Squire Toby's Will', 'Mr Justice Harbottle', 'The Familiar', 'Green Tea', 'Madam Crowl's Ghost' and 'The Murdered Cousin', introduced by genre expert Michael Cox. 'Sheridan Le Fanu,' wrote S.M. Ellis in 1916, 'retains his own special place and fame as the Master of Horror and the Mysterious.' Today, Le Fanu's reputation is as high as ever amongst connoisseurs of supernatural and mystery fiction and well deserves the enthusiastic praise lavished on him by some of the most accomplished ghost fiction writers of the twentieth century - including E.F. Benson and M.R. James. Born in 1814, the son of an Anglo-Irish Protestant clergyman, Le Fanu single-handedly created a new kind of fictional ghost story. Gone are the sheeted spooks rattling rusty chains and the peripatetic headless ladies that infest Gothic fiction. In their place Le Fanu created formidably real supernatural presences that emerge from within, as well as invade from without. Le Fanu was the first writer to explore seriously the psychological dimensions of the ghost story; at the same time he was adept at invoking the physical presence of supernatural malevolence. The world in which his characters move is a hostile one, his stories surrounded by an infinity of outer darkness. Private anguish undoubtedly underlies these public fictions. And yet Le Fanu's stories - be they of ghosts or tales of mystery - are also of the good old-fashioned type, best enjoyed in the sort of setting he himself described - 'the old-fashioned parlour fire-side and its listening circle of excited faces, and, outside, the wintry blast and the moan of leafless boughs . . .'
These stories from four decades are grounded in the geographical, cultural, and psychological American West. Ranging from realism to fables, from childhood to senescence, from a faltering rancher to the rich and rocky road of fatherhood, Woodswork is filled with indelible characters keenly rendered. This is not fast-food fiction but a nourishing feast.
A major literary figure and frequent contributor to the Yiddish-language newspaper Forverts from the 1920s to the mid-1930s, Jonah Rosenfeld was recognized during and after his lifetime as an explorer of human psychology. His work foregrounds loneliness, social anxiety, and people's frustrated longing for meaningful relationships - themes just as relevant to today's Western society as they were during his era. The Rivals and Other Stories introduces nineteen of Rosenfeld's short stories to an English-reading audience for the first time. Unlike much of Yiddish literature that offers a sentimentalized view of the tight knit communities of early twentieth-century Jewish life, Rosenfeld's stories portray an entirely different view of pre-war Jewish families. His stories are urban, domestic dramas that probe the often painful disjunctions between men and women, parents and children, rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles, self and society. They explore eroticism and family dysfunction in narratives that were often shocking to readers at the time they were published. Following the Modernist tradition, Rosenfeld rejected many established norms, such as religion and the assumption of absolute truth. Rather, his work is rooted in psychological realism, portraying the inner lives of alienated individuals who struggle to construct a world in which they can live. These deeply moving, empathetic stories provide a counterbalance to the prevailing idealized portrait of shtetl life and enrich our understanding of Yiddish literature.
Her eyes drift as she wonders who they are and where they're going. More importantly, where is she going? Where are they going? And what's going to happen when they get there? A new life? A new beginning? She bites her lip. She doesn't think so. Australia is known as the lucky country, but as we know luck is relative. S.C. Farrow's Open Wounds is a collection of unflinching Australian short stories that shines a light on those moments in life that are as profound as they are traumatic.
This collection of short stories, including many new translations,
is the first to span the whole of Japan's modern era from the end
of the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the
first writings to assimilate and rework Western literary
traditions, through the flourishing of the short story genre in the
cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Taisho era, to the new breed of
writers produced under the constraints of literary censorship, and
the current writings reflecting the pitfalls and paradoxes of
modern life, this anthology offers a stimulating survey of the
development of the Japanese short story.
This collection of short stories contains twelve murders which are dark, and with bizarre and unexpected endings. The villains are motivated by revenge and lack any feelings for their victims. The behaviour within the stories is so outrageous that the murderous activities described start to become humorous. In some the story-lines descend into pure farce. The collection sends up many of the characteristics of the classic 'whodunnit', such as having a quirky detective on the case. Several of the stories in the collection deal with actual and imagined deaths in a more serious tone and treat the perception of guilt within these situations. Some tales vividly portray real events which took place in the author's childhood in Nottingham, and this personal experience provides an authentic background to the other fictional stories.
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