Instant satisfaction for your thirst for knowledge!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Read online the first chapters of this book!
All characters reduced
Joy - And 52 Other Very Short Stories - cover

Joy - And 52 Other Very Short Stories

Erin McGraw

Publisher: Counterpoint

  • 1
  • 9
  • 0

Summary

"How can stories this brief be so satisfying? . . . [McGraw] deals with the profound, the dire, the mundane, and the ridiculous, paying particular attention to relationships between parents and children, siblings, spouses, criminals, and their victims. While some stories are meant purely to amuse, many are intense and beautiful . . . Fifty-three gems that demonstrate all the things a short story can do. Wow." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 
Claire Messud described Erin McGraw’s last collection of stories as “at once laugh-out-loud funny and utterly serious, [exploring] life’s profundity through its details.” This is even more true with McGraw’s new collection, Joy. In these very short stories, narrators step out of themselves to explain their lives to us, sometimes defensively, sometimes regretfully, other times deceitfully. Voices include those of the impulsive first-time murderer, the depressed pet sitter, the assistant of Patsy Cline, the anxiety-riddled new mother, the aged rock-and-roller, the girlfriend of your husband—human beings often (incredibly) unaware of the turning points staring them in the face. Crossing time, states, class, and religions, McGraw’s stories are on the edge, causing you to wince even as you laugh. And McGraw will draw you to a deep need to read some sentences aloud—a sweet voice, a shrewd insight, some uneasy charm.

Other books that might interest you

  • Difficult Women - cover

    Difficult Women

    Roxane Gay

    • 2
    • 37
    • 0
    Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.
    Show book
  • State of the Heart - cover

    State of the Heart

    Carol Patterson

    • 0
    • 5
    • 0
    Carol Patterson lives in South Arm, a serene coastal hamlet south-east of Hobart, Tasmania. Her arresting style infuses her short stories with fresh, vibrant life. She explores the crucial points in people’s lives when change takes place. Her post-graduate degree in Geography and Environmental Studies gained from the University of Tasmania, allows her to see the world from an original perspective, which further enriches her stories.
    Show book
  • The Flying Goat - cover

    The Flying Goat

    H.E. Bates

    • 1
    • 2
    • 0
    The Flying Goat (Jonathan Cape, 1939) features sixteen diverse stories from slapstick sketches to portraits of marital tension; one Uncle Silas tale; and three that hark back to Bates's boyhood roots.  
     
    'A Funny Thing' is an escalating bragging match between Uncle Silas and Uncle Cosmos. Cosmos is modelled on Bates's paternal grandfather, Charles Lawrence, who was "known about Rushden as a dapper and dashing figure who spent his holidays in the south of France, where he reputedly had a number of mistresses". A television adaptation starring Albert Finney was aired in 2003. 
     
    In a cautionary tale, ever-relevant today, 'Shot Actress – Full Story' is an account of the death of a former actress, and of the damaging effect of rumours. In commenting on the public's obsession with scandal and journalism, the tale reflects Bates's early newspaper work at the Northamptonshire Chronicle as well as a wider social commentary. 
     
    The Times Literary Supplement singled out 'The White Pony' and 'The Ox' as "faultless things, jewels as luminous and as finely cut as any Mr. Bates has turned out. In each of them the evocative strength of his countryside pictures is joined to a still and poignant emotion that seems to project a background of universal experience for a particular sorrow." 
     
    The bonus story 'Pensioned Off' is a sensitive and touching tale of a Latin teacher approaching the end of his career, reflecting on his obsolete methods of trying to teach a dying language. The story is based in part on Bates's own Latin teacher who he described as "extremely fat", so in a sweetly comic moment we hear how he fasts every Thursday so as not to become obese. Published in the New Adelphi (1929), and not republished since.
    Show book