From the publication of his first Booker-nominated novel at the age of twenty-six, Jon McGregor's fiction has consistently been defined by lean poetic language, a keen sense of detail, and insightful characterization. Now, after publishing three novels, he's turning his considerable talent toward short fiction. The stories in this beautifully wrought collection explore a specific physical world and the people who inhabit it.
Set among the lowlands and levees, the fens and ditches that mark the spare landscape of eastern England, the stories expose lives where much is buried, much is at risk, and tender moments are hard-won. The narrators of these delicate, dangerous, and sometimes deeply funny stories tell us what they believe to be important-in language inflected with the landscape's own understatement-while the real stories lie in what they unwittingly let slip.
A man builds a tree house by a river in preparation for a coming flood. A boy sets fire to a barn. A pair of itinerant laborers sit by a lake and talk,while fighter-planes fly low overhead and prepare for war. This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You is an intricate exploration of isolation, self-discovery, and the impact of place on the human psyche.
Praise for Even the Dogs:
"A rare combination of profound empathy and wonderful writing." -Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Nominated for the 2015 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Among the National Post's 50 Best Books of 2015
One of Quill & Quire’s Books of the Year, 2015
Among NOW Toronto's Top 10 Books of 2015
In the stories of Confidence, there are ecstasy-taking PhD students, financial traders desperate for husbands, owners of failing sex stores, violent and unremovable tenants, aggressive raccoons, seedy massage parlors, experimental filmmakers who record every second of their day, and wives who blog insults directed at their husbands. There are cheating husbands. There are private clubs, crowded restaurants, psychiatric wards. There is one magic cinema and everyone has a secret of some kind.
Russell Smith is the author of Girl Crazy and How Insensitive. Confidence, recently longlisted for the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, is his US debut.
Divided into four sections, Brandins stories begin by exploring political scheming as a president struggles with a church sermon on the seven deadly sins; a poorly qualified candidate defends his nomination to an ambassadorship; and asylum is claimed under unusual circumstances. As Brandin continues into historical and fantasy tales, eclectic characters are brought to the forefront as a statistics professor attempts to beat the odds on airplane bombs; an attempt is made to reengineer the wings of chickens; Chicago politicians struggle with a plan to reduce gang warfare; and a robot wonders whether sex is possible. In his final section, Brandin chronicles the life story of a small boy cursed by Lord Shiva.
Wings is a collection of unique short stories that delivers satire, humor, and surprise endings as a group of wide-ranging personalities try to overcome lifes most challenging obstacles.