A child ridiculed for his weight, a son overshadowed by a favored brother, a husband who falls short of his wife’s ambitions, an old man with a broken heart… As Orbits’s life passes, he doggedly pursues a simple dream — a little place in the country where a family might thrive — while wondering if he can ever shake free of the tragedies that seem to define him.
Fatboy Fall Down is the lush and heartbreaking musings of a man trying to understand his place in the world. Though shot through with sadness, Fatboy Fall Down is also full of surprising moments of wry humor, and Rabindranath Maharaj's deft touch underscores the resilience of the human spirit.
A man with an "old soul" finds himself at a Times Square peep show, looking for more than just a little action. A young man goes into some serious regression after finding his deceased mother's stash of morphine. A group of summer-camp sadists return to the scene of the crime. Sam Lipsyte's brutally funny narratives tread morally ambiguous terrain, where desperate characters stumble over hope, or sometimes merely stumble. Written with ferocious wit and surprising empathy, Venus Drive is a potent collection of stories from "a wickedly gifted writer" (Robert Stone).
The Picador paperback edition includes an excerpt from The Ask.
In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. “Deadbeat Nation” being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation.
The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also—as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction—the challenge of sheer survival.
Recently affluent, Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister, Florence, absorbs strays into her cramped household. An expat author, their aunt, Nollie, returns from abroad at seventy-three to a country that’s unrecognizable. Her brother, Carter, fumes at caring for their demented stepmother, now that an assisted living facility isn’t affordable. Only Florence’s oddball teenage son, Willing, an economics autodidact, will save this formerly august American family from the streets.
The Mandibles is about money. Thus it is necessarily about bitterness, rivalry, and selfishness—but also about surreal generosity, sacrifice, and transformative adaptation to changing circumstances.
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.
Readers will revel in this remarkable collection from a master of the form and wonder how they'd ever overlooked her in the first place.