Srđan Srdić’s collection of short stories, Combustions, establishes this author’s position as one of the best prose writers in Serbia and across the region. This book consists of nine stories in which the author brings the reader face to face with the seamy side of everyday life, where, somewhere in the province, hopelessness and despair of the endless Balkan transition meet one another in the most radical way. Devoid of illusions of social engagement and narrative tricks, Srdić linguistically demolishes the present and its numerous platitudes, either liberal or conservative, with which we have been overwhelmed for years, to the extent that we can no longer discern the depth of the twilight zone in which we live. Srdić’s stories are linguistically flawless, authentic and emblematically recognizable. The ironic distance that Srdić uses to talk about his characters, which are often socially marginalized and in disproportion to self-perception, combined with exquisite attention to detail, associativity and a number of intertextual references, makes this collection of short stories a genuine masterpiece, which uncompromisingly brings into light the bizarre quality of contemporary life.
Evildoers beware! Four of mystery fiction's top storytellers are setting the hounds on your trail -- in an incomparable quartet of crime stories with a canine edge. Man's (and woman's) best friends take the lead in this phenomenal collection of tales tense and surprising, humorous and thrilling.
New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance's spellbinding saga of a scam-busting septuagenarian and her two golden retrievers; Anthony Award winner Virginia Lanier's pureblood thriller featuring bloodhounds and bloody murder; Chassie West's suspenseful stunner about a life-saving German shepherd and a ghastly forgotten crime; rising star Lee Charles Kelley's edge-of-your-seat yarn that pits an ex-cop/kennel owner and a yappy toy poodle against a craven killer.
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.
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.
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.
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