Download and read online The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories in PDF and EPUB The stories in The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, a collection from Ethan Rutherford, map the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours. In stories that are alternately funny, persuasive, and compelling, unforgettable characters are confronted with, and battle against, the limitations of their lives. Rutherford’s work has been selected by Alice Sebold for inclusion in the volume of The Best American Short Stories that she edited, and also published in Ploughshares, One Story, and American Short Fiction.
Download and read online Bobcat and Other Stories in PDF and EPUB Winner of the 2013 Believer Book Award. At turns heartbreaking and wise, tender and wry Bobcat and Other Stories establishes Rebecca Lee as one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary fiction. A university student on her summer abroad is offered the unusual task of arranging a friend's marriage. Secret infidelities and one guest's dubious bobcat-related injury propel a Manhattan dinner party to its unexpected conclusion. Students at an elite architecture retreat seek the wisdom of their revered mentor but end up learning more about themselves and one another than about their shared craft. In these acutely observed and scaldingly honest stories Lee gives us characters who are complex and flawed, cracking open their fragile beliefs and exposing the paradoxes that lie within their romantic and intellectual pursuits. Whether they're in the countryside of the American Midwest, on a dusty prairie road in Saskatchewan, or among the skyscrapers and voluptuous hills of Hong Kong, the terrain is never as difficult to navigate as their own histories and desires. Rebecca Lee is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The City Is a Rising Tide and the short story collection Bobcat and Other Stories. She has been published in The Atlantic and Zoetrope, and in 2001 she received a National Magazine Award for her short fiction. Originally from Saskatchewan, Lee is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is now a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. 'Bobcat and Other Stories is nothing short of brilliant. Rebecca Lee writes with the unflinching, cumulatively devastating precision of Chekhov and Munro, peeling back layer after layer of illusion until we're left with the truth of ourselves ...This extraordinary story collection is sure to confirm its author as one of the best writers of her generation.' Ben Fountain, author of Billy Flynn's Long Halftime Walk 'Mesmirisingly strange...[Lee's] eccentric eloquence...makes Bobcat so potent and powerful.' New York Times 'In all these stories, confused, sometimes misdirected men and women struggle to figure out their places in the world, stumble into often unhappy situations and sometimes, to their great misfortune, get exactly what they were hoping for...Lee captures little pieces of all of us and she does it in language so delicate and precise that you'll re-read passages for the joy of it.' Star Tribune 'Slim, sly and brilliant.' Oprah.com 'Lee writes with an unflinching eye toward the darkest and saddest aspects of life, often finding humor where least expected. This fresh, provocative collection, peerless in its vehement elucidation of contemporary foibles, is not to be missed.' Publisher's Weekly 'This is a potent, quietly daring and sturdily imagined collection, rich with a subtlety in short supply in our current short-fiction landscape, where writers seem to settle for lobbing verbal grenades in the reader's general direction. In stories like "Bobcat" and "Fialta," there is the real sense of significance, as though a whole subway system's worth of meaning is roaring beneath the text, ready to whisk the reader anywhere they need to go.' National Post
Download and read online The Miniature Wife in PDF and EPUB In the tradition of George Saunders and Aimee Bender, an exuberantly imagined debut that chronicles an ordinary world marked by unusual phenomena. The eighteen stories of Manuel Gonzales’s exhilarating first book render the fantastic commonplace and the ordinary extraordinary, in prose that thrums with energy and shimmers with beauty. In “The Artist’s Voice” we meet one of the world’s foremost composers, a man who speaks through his ears. A hijacked plane circles a city for twenty years in “Pilot, Copilot, Writer.” Sound can kill in “The Sounds of Early Morning.” And, in the title story, a man is at war with the wife he accidentally shrank. For these characters, the phenomenal isn’t necessarily special—but it’s often dangerous. In slightly fantastical settings, Gonzales illustrates very real guilt over small and large marital missteps, the intense desire for the reinvention of self, and the powerful urges we feel to defend and provide for the people we love. With wit and insight, these stories subvert our expectations and challenge us to look at our surroundings with fresh eyes. Brilliantly conceived, strikingly original, and told with the narrative instinct of a born storyteller, The Miniature Wife is an unforgettable debut.
Download and read online Love and Hydrogen in PDF and EPUB I’ve been a problem baby, a lousy son, a distant brother, an off-putting neighbor, a piss-poor student, a worrisome seatmate, an unreliable employee, a bewildering lover, a frustrating confidante and a crappy husband. Among the things I do pretty well at this point I’d have to list darts, re-closing Stay-Fresh boxes, and staying out of the way. This is the self-eulogy offered early on by the unwilling hero of the opening story in this collection, a dazzling array of work in short fiction from a master of the form. The stories in Love and Hydrogen—familiar to readers from publications ranging from McSweeney’s to The New Yorker to Harper’s to Tin House—encompass in theme and compassion what an ordinary writer would seem to need several lifetimes to imagine. A frustrated wife makes use of an enterprising illegal-gun salesman to hold her husband hostage; two hapless adult-education students botch their attempts at rudimentary piano but succeed in a halting, awkward romance; a fascinated and murderous Creature welcomes the first human visitors to his Black Lagoon; and in the title story, the stupefyingly huge airship Hindenburg flies to its doom, representing in 1937 mankind's greatest yearning as well as its titanic failure. Generous in scope and astonishing in ambition, Shepard’s voice never falters; the virtuosity of Love and Hydrogen cements his reputation as, in the words of Rick Bass, “a passionate writer with a razor-sharp wit and an elephantine heart”—in short, one of the most powerful talents at work today. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Download and read online Aerogrammes in PDF and EPUB From the highly acclaimed author of Atlas of Unknowns ("Dazzling...One of the most exciting debut novels since Zadie Smith's White Teeth" --San Francisco Chronicle),a bravura collection of short stories set in locales as varied as London, Sierra Leone, and the American Midwest that captures the yearning and dislocation of young men and women around the world. In "Light & Luminous," a gifted instructor of Indian dance falls victim to the vanity and insecurities that have followed her into middle age. In "Tonto and the Undertaker," a widower copes with his loss by cruising Kentucky highways and burying roadkill. In "The Scriptological Review" a damaged young man obsessively studies his father's handwriting in hopes of making sense of his suicide. And in "What to Do with Henry," a white woman from Ohio takes in the illegitimate child her husband left behind in Sierra Leone, as well as an orphaned chimpanzee who comes to anchor this strange new family. With Aerogrammes, Tania James once again introduces us to a host of delicate, complicated, and beautifully realized characters who find themselves separated from their friends, families, and communities by race, pride, and grief. This eBook editional includes a Reading Group Guide.
Download and read online The UnAmericans Stories in PDF and EPUB * Longlisted for the National Book Award * A stunning exploration of characters shaped by the forces of history, the debut work of fiction by a 2013 National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree. An absentee father, a former dissident from communist-era Prague, needles his adult daughter for details about her newly commissioned play when he fears it will cast him in an unflattering light. An actor, imprisoned during the Red Scare for playing up his communist leanings to get a part with a leftist film director, is shamed by his act when he reunites with his precocious young son. An Israeli soldier, forced to defend a settlement filled with American religious families, still pines for a chance to discover the United States for himself. A young Israeli journalist, left unemployed after America’s most recent economic crash, questions her life path when she begins dating a middle-aged widower still in mourning for his wife. And in the book’s final story, a tour de force spanning three continents and three generations of women, a young American and her Israeli husband are forced to reconsider their marriage after the death of her dissident art-collecting grandmother. Again and again, Molly Antopol’s deeply sympathetic characters struggle for footing in an uncertain world, hounded by forces beyond their control. Their voices are intimate and powerful and they resonate with searing beauty. Antopol is a superb young talent, and The UnAmericans will long be remembered for its wit, humanity, and heart.
Download and read online This Is Paradise in PDF and EPUB Elegant, brutal, and profound—this magnificent debut captures the grit and glory of modern Hawai'i with breathtaking force and accuracy. In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai'i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua'i and the Big Island. In the gut-punch of “Wanle,” a beautiful and tough young woman wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps as a legendary cockfighter. With striking versatility, the title story employs a chorus of voices—the women of Waikiki—to tell the tale of a young tourist drawn to the darker side of the city’s nightlife. “The Old Paniolo Way” limns the difficult nature of legacy and inheritance when a patriarch tries to settle the affairs of his farm before his death. Exquisitely written and bursting with sharply observed detail, Kahakauwila’s stories remind us of the powerful desire to belong, to put down roots, and to have a place to call home.
Download and read online Saving Fish from Drowning in PDF and EPUB A provocative new novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter. On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour-and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime. Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a fagade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions-both good and bad-and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others. A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes."
Download and read online The News from Spain in PDF and EPUB A San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Best Book of the Year The author of the acclaimed memoir The Suicide Index returns with a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding it. Spanning centuries and continents, from eighteenth-century Vienna to contemporary America, Joan Wickersham shows, with uncanny exactitude, how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart—or in our own.
Download and read online One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses in PDF and EPUB Lucy Corin's "eye popping, enlightening read" (Publishers Weekly), now in paperback. At the heart of Lucy Corin’s dazzling collection are one hundred apocalypses: visions of loss and destruction, vexation and crisis, revelation and revolution, sometimes only a few lines long. In these haunting and wickedly funny stories, an apocalypse might come in the form of the end of a relationship or the end of the world, but they all expose the tricky landscape of our longing for a clean slate. In three longer stories, contemporary American life is playfully, if disturbingly, distorted: the rite of passage for adolescent girls involves choosing the madman who will accompany them into adulthood; California burns to the ground while, on the east coast, life carries on; and a soldier returns home broke from war to encounter a witch who extends a dangerous offer. At once mournful and explosively energetic, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses is "deeply rooted in the politics and upheaval of our times" (Lambda Literary).
Download and read online Norwegian by Night in PDF and EPUB Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger Award winner An ECONOMIST TOP FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A GUARDIAN BEST CRIME AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR “A soulful, humane, and sparklingly funny novel. Spend some time with Sheldon and company in the Scandinavian wilderness and you just might make peace with your god, your ghosts, and yourself.” — Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story Sheldon Horowitz—widowed, impatient, impertinent—has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway—a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman. Not until now, anyway. Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbor’s young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. As Sheldon and the boy look for a safe haven in an alien world, past and present weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth. “This is one of the best books of the season, of any genre.” — Buffalo News “Miller joins the ranks of Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesbø, the holy trinity of Scandinavian crime novelists.” — Booklist (starred review) AN INDIE NEXT SELECTION
Download and read online Red Brick Black Mountain White Clay in PDF and EPUB New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 "Beautiful, haunted, evocative and so open to where memory takes you. I kept thinking that this is the book that I have waited for: where objects, and poetry intertwine. Just wonderful and completely sui generis." (Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes) An unforgettable voyage across the reaches of America and the depths of memory, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay follows one incredible family to discover a unique craft tradition grounded in America¹s vast natural landscape. Looking back through the generations, renowned critic Christopher Benfey unearths an ancestry--and an aesthetic--that is quintessentially American. His mother descends from colonial explorers and Quaker craftsmen, who carved new arts from the trackless wilds of the frontier. Benfey¹s father escaped from Nazi Europe--along with his aunt and uncle, the famed Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers--by fleeing across the Atlantic and finding an eventual haven in the American South. Bricks form the backbone of life in North Carolina¹s rural Piedmont, where Benfey¹s mother was raised among centuries-old folk potteries, tobacco farms, and clay pits. Her father, like his father before him, believed in the deep honesty of brick, that men might build good lives with the bricks they laid. Nurtured in this red-clay world of ancient craft and Quaker radicalism, Benfey¹s mother was poised to set out from home when a tragic romance cracked her young life in two. Salvaging the broken shards of his mother¹s past and exploring the revitalized folk arts resisting industrialization, Benfey discovers a world brimming with possibility and creativity. Benfey¹s father had no such foundation in his young life, nor did his aunt and uncle. Exiled artists from Berlin¹s Bauhaus school, Josef and Anni Albers were offered sanctuary not far from the Piedmont at Black Mountain College. A radical experiment in unifying education and art, Black Mountain made a monumental impact on American culture under Josef¹s leadership, counting Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Buckminster Fuller among its influential students and teachers. Focusing on the natural world, innovative craftsmanship, and the physical reality of materials, Black Mountain became a home and symbol for an emerging vision of American art. Threading these stories together into a radiant and mesmerizing harmony, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay is an extraordinary quest to the heart of America and the origins of its art.
Download and read online This Is Not an Accident in PDF and EPUB From a truly distinctive voice brimming with wicked humor, tales of the little disasters that befall and befuddle us April Wilder’s characters (some normal, some less so) have this in common: they are spiraling (or inching) toward self-destruction. An almost poetic range of disasters are sought out and savored in This Is Not an Accident, from bad romance to iffy adoption decisions to unsteady liaisons with animals and dolls; from compulsive driving to compulsive written correspondence with oneself. A house sitter hides among poets in Salt Lake City after his canine charge dies tragically. A grandma’s boyfriend holds a backyard barbecue under siege—with the kids as his pint-sized guards. The world of these slightly off-center individuals is similarly off by a few degrees. But by the end, we realize it’s not as far off as we would like to think: this is modern American life. What Wilder captures is not a dark side, but rather the side we all know well and hide from others, and ourselves. In the tradition of Wells Tower and Jim Shepard, This Is Not an Accident signals a bold new voice and delivers the kind of insanely incisive moments only a master of the human condition can conjure.
Download and read online The Corpse Exhibition in PDF and EPUB A blistering debut that does for the Iraqi perspective on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan what Phil Klay’s Redeployment does for the American perspective “[A] wonderful collection.” —George Saunders, The New York Times Book Review The first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective—by an explosive new voice hailed as “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive” (The Guardian)—The Corpse Exhibition shows us the war as we have never seen it before. Here is a world not only of soldiers and assassins, hostages and car bombers, refugees and terrorists, but also of madmen and prophets, angels and djinni, sorcerers and spirits. Blending shocking realism with flights of fantasy, The Corpse Exhibition offers us a pageant of horrors, as haunting as the photos of Abu Ghraib and as difficult to look away from, but shot through with a gallows humor that yields an unflinching comedy of the macabre. Gripping and hallucinatory, this is a new kind of storytelling forged in the crucible of war.
Download and read online The Architecture of Happiness in PDF and EPUB The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton's exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being Bestselling author Alain de Botton has written about love, travel, status and how philosophy can console us. Now he turns his attention to one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful?Why are many new houses so ugly?Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved?Will minimalism make us happier than ornaments? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will forever alter your relationship with buildings. It will change the way you look at your current home - and help you make the right decisions about your next one. 'Engaging and intelligent . . . full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed'Independent Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include Essays in Love; The Romantic Movement; Kiss and Tell; Status Anxiety; How Proust Can Change Your Life; The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work; The Art of Travel; The Architecture of Happiness and Religion for Atheists. He lives in London and founded The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.