The Secrets of a Fire King: Stories

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The first story collection from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Memory Keeper's Daughter

With The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards touched hearts across the nation. In this, her first collection of stories-now with three new stories added-she explores the lives of those who exist on the fringes of society: a fire-eater, an American and his Korean war bride, Madame Curie's maid, and others. Though their tales vary dramatically, each comes up against the barriers of place and circumstance in the most universal of experiences: the quest to discover and understand the elusive mysteries of love. Transporting readers to exotic locations, this beautiful collection reinforces Edwards's presence as an extraordinarily gifted writer.
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About the author

Kim Edwards has won numerous awards, including a Whiting Award and the Nelson Algren Award and most recently the Kentucky Literary Award for fiction. She is the author of a collection of short stories, The Secrets Of a Fire King, which was an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Anteaus, Story, and The Paris Review and have received a National Magazine Awards for excellence in Fiction and a Pushcart Prize. A graduate of the Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches writing at the University of Kentucky. This is her first novel, which has been chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover title. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and daughters.
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11 total

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Published on
May 29, 2007
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Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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Kim Edwards
Ca­sa­dos há pou­cos anos, No­rah e David es­pe­ra­vam fe­li­zes a che­ga­da de seu pri­mei­ro fi­lho. Mas es­sa ale­gria du­ra­ria pou­co: o des­ti­no ha­via pre­pa­ra­do uma sur­pre­sa que mu­da­ria pa­ra sem­pre a tra­je­tó­ria dos dois. O que de­ve­ria ser uma boa no­tí­cia trans­for­ma-se num ter­rí­vel pe­sa­de­lo. No­rah dá à luz duas crian­ças: Paul, um me­ni­no sau­dá­vel, e Phoe­be, por­ta­do­ra da sín­dro­me de Down. Ime­dia­ta­men­te, Da­vid lem­bra-se da com­pli­ca­da in­fân­cia ao la­do de uma ir­mã com a mes­ma doen­ça. De­se­jan­do ar­den­te­men­te pou­par a es­po­sa e a si mes­mo des­se so­fri­men­to, ele de­ci­de ex­pul­sar a fi­lha de suas vidas. Mas o pre­ço des­sa de­ci­são aca­ba sen­do al­to de­mais – e não há chan­ce de vol­tar atrás. Pou­co a pou­co, a cul­pa cor­rói o nú­cleo da fa­mí­lia, e du­ran­te os 25 anos se­guin­tes ca­da um vai len­ta­men­te se fe­chan­do em tor­no de suas pró­prias angústias. Ator­men­ta­do pe­lo ar­re­pen­di­men­to, Da­vid fi­ca ob­ce­ca­do por fo­to­gra­far ima­gens de crian­ças, ten­tan­do com­pen­sar a sau­da­de da fi­lha. No­rah, ca­da vez mais afas­ta­da da vi­da do ma­ri­do, en­tre­ga-se ao ál­cool e a pe­que­nas in­fi­de­li­da­des, bus­can­do em vão dis­trair-se da avas­sa­la­do­ra dor da perda. En­quan­to is­so, Paul sen­te na pe­le a re­jei­ção dos pais, que pa­re­cem mais en­vol­vi­dos na su­pos­ta mor­te da ir­mã do que na sua vi­da. Em ou­tra ci­da­de, po­rém, Phoe­be cres­ce fe­liz e cer­ca­da de cui­da­dos pe­la mãe ado­ti­va, que lu­ta pa­ra dar à me­ni­na uma vi­da dig­na e livre de preconceitos. Com a ra­ra ha­bi­li­da­de de unir emo­ção e sus­pen­se, Kim Ed­wards ex­plo­ra as su­ti­le­zas das re­la­ções hu­ma­nas e os di­le­mas de uma fa­mí­lia que ten­ta se­guir adian­te, ape­sar de des­pe­da­ça­da. Ao mes­mo tem­po co­mo­ven­te e per­tur­ba­dor, O guardião de memórias é um livro inesquecível.
Jane Ford
This volume marks the first sustained study to interrogate how and why issues of sexuality, desire, and economic processes intersect in the literature and culture of the Victorian fin de siècle. At the end of the nineteenth-century, the move towards new models of economic thought marked the transition from a marketplace centred around the fulfilment of ‘needs’ to one ministering to anything that might, potentially, be desired. This collection considers how the literature of the period meditates on the interaction between economy and desire, doing so with particular reference to the themes of fetishism, homoeroticism, the literary marketplace, social hierarchy, and consumer culture. Drawing on theoretical and conceptual approaches including queer theory, feminist theory, and gift theory, contributors offer original analyses of work by canonical and lesser-known writers, including Oscar Wilde, A.E. Housman, Baron Corvo, Vernon Lee, Michael Field, and Lucas Malet. The collection builds on recent critical developments in fin-de-siècle literature (including major interventions in the areas of Decadence, sexuality, and gender studies) and asks, for instance, how did late nineteenth-century writing schematise the libidinal and somatic dimensions of economic exchange? How might we define the relationship between eroticism and the formal economies of literary production/performance? And what relation exists between advertising/consumer culture and (dissident) sexuality in fin-de-siecle literary discourses? This book marks an important contribution to 19th-Century and Victorian literary studies, and enhances the field of fin-de-siècle studies more generally.
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