Archives de catégorie : Short Stories

AN EXCITING AND VIVID INNER LIFE de Paul Dalla Rosa

Oscillating between elation and despair, AN EXCITING AND VIVID INNER LIFE is the debut short story collection from Sunday Times Short Story Award finalist Paul Dalla Rosa.

AN EXCITING AND VIVID INNER LIFE
by Paul Dalla Rosa
Allen & Unwin, May 2022
(via Neon Literary)

Whether working in food service or in high-end retail, lit by a laptop in a sex chat or by the camera of an acclaimed film director, sharing a dangerous apartment in the city, a rooming house in China or a vacation rental in Mallorca, the protagonists of the ten stories comprising Paul Dalla Rosa’s debut collection, An Exciting and Vivid Inner Life, navigate the spaces between aspiration and delusion, ambition and aimlessness, the curated profile and the unreliable body.
By turns unsparing and tender, Dalla Rosa explores our lives in late-stage Capitalism, where globalisation and its false promises of connectivity and equity leave us all further alienated and disenfranchised. His stories are small masterpieces of regret, futility and tenderness, dripping with acuity, irony and wit.
Like his acclaimed contemporary Ottessa Moshfegh and the legendary Lucia Berlin, Dalla Rosa is a masterful observer and unflinching eviscerator of our ugly, beautiful attempts at finding meaning in an ugly, beautiful world.

« The contemporary urgency of his stories is intoxicating…. This is such an exciting collection – writing this good is thrilling, exhilarating. » – Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

Paul Dalla Rosa is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. His stories have appeared in Granta, McSweeney’s, Meanjin and New York Tyrant. In 2019, his story ‘Comme’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award. He is currently undertaking his PhD at RMIT University, studying the real within contemporary fiction. An Exciting and Vivid Inner Life is his debut collection.

STORIES TO KEEP YOU ALIVE DESPITE VAMPIRES de Ben Acker

This fourth wall–breaking middle-grade collection of spooky, scary, and spoopy stories for fans of Lemony Snicket and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark might just help you survive the night in a house full of vampires.

STORIES TO KEEP YOU ALIVE DESPITE VAMPIRES
by Ben Acker
‎ Simon & Schuster BYR, August 2022
(via Writers House)

If you are reading this book, then you must be trapped in that spooky house with those vampires. Sorry about that. But! You might just make it out if you manage to tell them one scary story each night in accordance with standard vampire rules. Don’t know any scary stories? Good thing you found this book! Every tale in this tome is true…more or less (more more than less).
You get a little bit of everything in this monster mash: from hitchhiking phantoms to women in white, a carnivore beast that loves a good vacation to a haunted mannequin with a bug problem, killer phones, concerned werewolves, you name it. Everything you need to keep those vampires on the edge of their seats—and well away from your neck.
But beware…don’t get too comfortable. Names have power, and if you whisper about too many things in the dark, they might just hear you.

Ben Acker is best known as the cocreator and writer of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, a monthly comedic variety stage show and podcast in the style of old-timey radio. That would have been enough. Acker has written for television, comic books, and actual radio. STORIES TO KEEP YOU ALIVE DESPITE VAMPIRES is his first book about defeating vampires with the power of storytelling.

FRUITING BODIES: STORIES de Kathryn Harlan

This genre-bending debut collection of stories constructs eight eerie worlds full of desire, wisdom, and magic blooming amidst decay. For readers of Carmen Maria Machado and Karen Russell.

FRUITING BODIES: STORIES
by Kathryn Harlan
W.W. Norton, June 2022
(via The Gernert Company)

In stories that beckon and haunt, FRUITING BODIES ranges confidently from the fantastical to the gothic to the uncanny as it follows characters—mostly queer, mostly women—on the precipice of change. Echoes of timeless myth and folklore reverberate through urgent narratives of discovery, appetite, and coming-of-age in a time of crisis.
In “The Changeling,” two young cousins wait in dread for a new family member to arrive, convinced that he may be a dangerous supernatural creature. In “Endangered Animals,” Jane prepares to say goodbye to her almost-love while they road-trip across a country irrevocably altered by climate change. In “Take Only What Belongs to You,” a queer woman struggles with the personal history of an author she idolized, while in “Fiddler, Fool, Pair,” an anthropologist is drawn into a magical—and dangerous—gamble. In the title story, partners Agnes and Geb feast peacefully on the mushrooms that sprout from Agnes’s body—until an unwanted male guest disturbs their cloistered home.
Audacious, striking, and wholly original, FRUITING BODIES offers stories about knowledge in a world on the verge of collapse, knowledge that alternately empowers or devastates. Pulling beautifully, brazenly, from a variety of literary traditions, Kathryn Harlan firmly establishes herself as a thrilling new voice in fiction.

« A debut of astonishing range and beauty, nimble and magical and profound. In stunning prose, Kathryn Harlan’s wildly imaginative and daring stories reveal the anguish of growing up in a dying world. Her characters’ quest for knowledge―about themselves, their families, their bodies, and their yearnings―will thrill and haunt you. » ― Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers

Kathryn Harlan received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she now teaches writing. She was the recipient of the 2019 August Derleth Graduate Creative Writing Prize. Her work has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere.

MANYWHERE de Morgan Thomas

Lush and uncompromising stories about characters crossing geographical borders and gender binaries.

MANYWHERE: Stories
by Morgan Thomas
mcd/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection MANYWHERE witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, at whatever cost. As each character traces deceit and violence through tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.
A trans woman finds her independence through the purchase of a pregnancy bump. A young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themselves in the life of an intersex person from colonial-era Jamestown. A young writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor, who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag. And in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.
Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories rebound across centuries. With warm, meticulous emotional intelligence, Morgan Thomas’s MANYWHERE uncovers how the stories we borrow to understand ourselves in turn shape the people we become. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, MANYWHERE introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.

Morgan Thomas’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, VICE, Joyland, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, them., and StoryQuarterly, where their story won the 2019 Fiction Prize. They are the recipient of a Bread Loaf Work-Study Grant, a Fullbright Grant, the Penny Wilkes Scholarship in Writing and the Environment, and the winner of the inaugural Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters. They have also received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Arctic Circle. A graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program, they live in Portland.

PRETEND IT’S MY BODY de Luke Dani Blue

In a vivid debut story collection, Luke Dani Blue asks: is there such a thing as a real self? If so, how do you find it?

PRETEND IT’S MY BODY
by Luke Dani Blue
The Feminist Press, Fall 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

In the vein of Carmen Maria Machado, Kelly Link, and Daniel Lavery, and born of the author’s experience in and between genders, these stories blur the line between fantasy and reality, between the lives we wish for and the ones we actually lead, excavating new meanings from our varied dysphorias. Ranging from a tornado survivor grappling with a new identity, to a trans teen psychic that can only read undecided minds, from a woman telling her family of her plans to upload her consciousness and abandon her body, to con artists, runaways, and lost souls returning home, Blue’s characters all share an insistence on forging their own realities. Surreal, darkly funny, and always tender, PRETEND IT’S MY BODY is a collection bound together by the act of searching – for a story of one’s own, for a glimpse of certainty, and for a spark of recognition in others.

The magic in [the short story] “Bad Things That Happen to Girls,” is so subtle and slow-building and so unprepossessing that, while reading it, I understood I was holding my breath only when the story started to swim before me…It’s a story that aches with truth and desperation, and I marvel at the way Blue ratchets up the motion, breath by breath, to the story’s logical but stunning end.” —Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies and Florida

Luke Dani Blue’s stories have appeared in the Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, and have been included on the list of the year’s most distinguished stories in Best American Short Stories 2016. They have an MFA from San Francisco State University and currently live in Alberta, Canada.