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How to Pronounce Knife

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : Little, Brown
Release : 2020-04-21
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780316422116

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Book How to Pronounce Knife Description/Summary:

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and winner of the 2020 Giller Prize, this revelatory story collection honors characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary "grunt work of the world." A failed boxer painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. A mother teaching her daughter the art of worm harvesting. In her stunning debut story collection, O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa focuses on characters struggling to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. In spare, intimate prose charged with emotional power and a sly wit, she paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. As one of Thammavongsa's characters says, "All we wanted was to live." And in these stories, they do—brightly, ferociously, unforgettably. Unsentimental yet tender, taut and visceral, How to Pronounce Knife announces Souvankham Thammavongsa as one of the most striking voices of her generation. “As the daughter of refugees, I’m able to finally see myself in stories.” —Angela So, Electric Literature

How to Pronounce Knife

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : McClelland & Stewart
Release : 2020-04-07
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780771094613

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Book How to Pronounce Knife Description/Summary:

WINNER OF THE 2020 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, the PEN AMERICA OPEN BOOK AWARD, and the DANUTA GLEED AWARD #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER Named one of Time Magazine's Must-Read Books of 2020, and featuring stories that have appeared in Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, this revelatory book of fiction from O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa establishes her as an essential new voice in Canadian and world literature. Told with compassion and wry humour, these stories honour characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary "grunt work of the world." A young man painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A father who packs furniture to move into homes he'll never afford. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. In her stunning Giller Prize-winning debut book of fiction, Souvankham Thammavongsa focuses on characters struggling to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. In spare, intimate prose charged with emotional power and a sly wit, she paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. As one of Thammavongsa's characters says, "All we wanted was to live." And in these stories, they do—brightly, ferociously, unforgettably. A daughter becomes an unwilling accomplice in her mother's growing infatuation with country singer Randy Travis. A former boxer finds a chance at redemption while working at his sister's nail salon. A school bus driver must grapple with how much he's willing to give up in order to belong. And in the title story, a young girl's unconditional love for her father transcends language. Tender, uncompromising, and fiercely alive, How to Pronounce Knife establishes Souvankham Thammavongsa as one of the most important voices of her generation.

How to Pronounce Knife

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2020-04-16
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781526610461

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Book How to Pronounce Knife Description/Summary:

WINNER OF THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE 'Spellbinding' i 'Breathtaking' Elle 'Powerhouses of feeling and depth' Mary Gaitskill 'Sharp and vital' Daisy Johnson An ex-boxer turned nail salon worker falls for a pair of immaculate hands; a mother and daughter harvest earthworms in the middle of the night; a country music-obsessed housewife abandons her family for fantasy; and a young girl's love for her father transcends language. In this stunning debut, Souvankham Thammavongsa captures the day-to-day lives of immigrants and refugees in a nameless city, illuminating hopes, disappointments, love affairs, and above all, the pursuit of a place to belong

The O. Henry Prize Stories 100th Anniversary Edition (2019)

Author : Laura Furman
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2019-09-10
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780525565543

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Book The O. Henry Prize Stories 100th Anniversary Edition (2019) Description/Summary:

Now celebrating its centenary, this prestigious annual anthology gathers the twenty best new short stories published in the previous year. An Anchor Books Original. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019--continuing a century-long tradition of cutting-edge literary excellence--contains twenty prize-winning stories chosen from the thousands published in magazines over the previous year. The winning writers are an impressive mix of celebrated names and new, emerging voices. Their stories evoke lives both near and distant, in settings ranging from Jamaica, Houston, and Hawaii to a Turkish coal mine and a drought-ridden Northwestern farm, and feature an engaging array of characters, including Laotian refugees, a Colombian kidnap victim, an eccentric Irish schoolteacher, a woman haunted by a house that cleans itself, and a strangely long-lived rabbit. The uniformly breathtaking stories are accompanied by essays from the eminent jurors on their favorites, observations from the winning writers on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines. List of 2019 winners: Tessa Hadley John Keeble Moira McCavana Rachel Kondo Sarah Shun-lien Bynum Stephanie Reents Alexia Arthurs Valerie O’Riordan Patricia Engel Kenan Orhan Sarah Hall Bryan Washington Isabella Hammad Weike Wang Caoilinn Hughes Souvankham Thammavongsa Liza Ward Doua Thao Alexander MacLeod John Edgar Wideman Prize Jurors 2019: Lynn Freed, Elizabeth Strout, Lara Vapynar

Snow Hunters

Author : Paul Yoon
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2013-08-06
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781476714813

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Book Snow Hunters Description/Summary:

"A highly anticipated debut novel from 5 Under 35 National Book Foundation honoree featuring a Korean War refugee who emigrates to Brazil to become a tailor's apprentice and confronts the wreckage of his past"--

Cluster

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : McClelland & Stewart
Release : 2019-03-26
Category : Poetry
ISBN : 9780771070990

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Book Cluster Description/Summary:

With unsettling beauty and a quiet magic, award-winning poet Souvankham Thammavongsa's Cluster will awe and amaze. PAT LOWTHER MEMORIAL AWARD FINALIST Acclaimed poet Souvankham Thammavongsa returns with her fourth collection, a book about meaning. Meaning can sometimes blow up, crack something we had not seen, or darken what had been seen so clear to us. Meaning can happen with so little and go on to take so much from us. Meaning can sometimes take a long time to arrive, years even, if ever. And it's possible meaning does not mean, and that in itself could be meaningful. Whatever happens to meaning, it is always there. It means even when you don't want it. Every poem in this book looks at meaning and the ways in which it arrives, if at all.

Here the Dark

Author : David Bergen
Publisher : Biblioasis
Release : 2020-03-10
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781771963220

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Book Here the Dark Description/Summary:

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE | A NEW YORK TIMES NEW & NOTEWORTHY BOOK | "His third appearance on the Giller shortlist ... affirms Bergen among Canada's most powerful writers. His pages light up; all around falls into darkness."—2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury | “David Bergen’s command is breathtaking ... His work belongs to the world, and to all time. He is one of our living greats.”—Matthew Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves From the streets of Danang, Vietnam, where a boy falls in with a young American missionary, to fishermen lost off the islands of Honduras, to the Canadian prairies, where a teenage boy’s infatuation reveals his naiveté and an aging rancher finds himself smitten, the short stories in Here the Dark explore the spaces between doubt and belief, evil and good, obscurity and light. Following men and boys bewildered by their circumstances and swayed by desire, surprised by love and by their capacity for both tenderness and violence, and featuring a novella about a young woman who rejects the laws of her cloistered Mennonite community, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner David Bergen’s latest deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how we might be found.

Reproduction

Author : Ian Williams
Publisher : Europa Editions
Release : 2020-04-21
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781609455767

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Book Reproduction Description/Summary:

“With subtlety and wit, [a] prizewinning debut” novel set in 1970s Toronto “explores a liaison across race and class divisions in Canada” (The Guardian, UK). Felicia and Edgar come from different worlds. She’s a nineteen-year-old student and Caribbean immigrant while he is the impetuous heir to his German family’s fortune. When their ailing mothers are assigned the same Toronto hospital room, their chance encounter leads to an unlikely relationship full miscommunications, misunderstandings, and very surprising results. Years later, Felicia’s son Armistice—“Army” for short—is a teenager fixated on get-rich-quick schemes, each one more absurd than the next. The. Edgar finally re-enters Felicia’s life, at yet another inopportune moment, putting this “witty, playful and disarmingly offbeat” saga on the path to its heartfelt conclusion (The Toronto Star, CA). Winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize

Polar Vortex

Author : Shani Mootoo
Publisher : Akashic Books
Release : 2020-09-01
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781617758706

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Book Polar Vortex Description/Summary:

A novel reminiscent of the works of Herman Koch and Rachel Cusk, in which a lesbian couple attempts to escape the secrets of their pasts. "A slow-burning examination of identity, gender, desire, and immigration...Mootoo's subtle, thought-provoking tale stands out among stories of characters gripped by the past." --Publishers Weekly "Compellingly charts the complexity of human relationships, the illusions of memory, and the corrosive power of denial." --Kirkus Reviews "Polar Vortex is a powerful, fraught, and inventive exploration of the impossibility of ever really knowing the people we come to love. Told in urgent, incandescent prose and effortlessly spinning in and out of time, the book is an intimate and starkly honest examination of the complexities of sexual identity, lust, shame, regret, and how we, no matter where we come from or how we identify, are at our most complicated when it comes to the whims and failings of the human heart." --Joe Meno, author of Marvel and a Wonder "How to know the shifting pieces of ourselves, how to acknowledge contradictory desires, as we are pulled into the maelstrom of desire and memory? Shani Mootoo's intimate new novel suspends us in the vortex between acts of betrayal and acts of love. It is a powerfully unsettling work from a brilliant artist." --Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing "The past isn't even past--and the present is tense with conflicting desires and untold stories. What brings clarity to this setting is Shani Mootoo's limpid prose, clean and bracing. Polar Vortex is an honest, but also moving, exploration of true intimacy." --Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana "What a gorgeous and thrilling novel. Beautifully crafted, with perfect form and icy-clear tone--Shani Mootoo held me under her spell until the shock and release of the last page!" --Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light Polar Vortex is a seductive and tension-filled novel about Priya and Alex, a lesbian couple who left the big city to relocate to a bucolic countryside community. It seemed like a good way to leave their past behind and cement their newish, later-in-life relationship. But there's leaving the past behind--and then there's running away from awkward histories. Priya has a secret--a long-standing, on-again, off-again relationship with a man, Prakash. In Priya's mind Prakash is little more than an old friend, but in reality things are a bit complicated. Why has she never told Alex about him? Prakash has tracked Priya down in her new life, and before she realizes what she's doing, she invites him to visit. Alex is not pleased, and soon the existing cracks in their relationship widen, revealing secrets Alex herself would have preferred to keep. Into the fissure walks Prakash, whose own agenda forces all three to face the inevitable consequences of their choices.

Man Gone Down

Author : Michael Thomas
Publisher : Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release : 2007-12-01
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 1555847455

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Book Man Gone Down Description/Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book: The award-winning debut novel of race and family that “casts a new light on urban life in Brooklyn” (Time Out New York). “Like the characters of Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry . . . [our] unnamed narrator is a black man concerned with identity in a decidedly white America”. He’s a father of three in a biracial marriage trying to claim a piece of the American Dream (TheWashington Post). On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, he finds himself broke, estranged from his wife and kids, and living in a friend’s spare bedroom in Brooklyn. He has four days to come up with the money to keep his family afloat, and four days to make sense of his past and his future in a country where he feels preprogrammed to fail. But he has a powerful urge to escape that sentence. “Man Gone Down charts a four-day, Homeric trek through what makes America and New York a social and racial nightmare as well as a dream that incredibly can still come true.” —Robert Sullivan, New York Times–bestselling author of Rats “Powerful and moving . . . recount[ing] the events of four desperate days in New York, [Man Gone Down] extends far beyond these boundaries of time and space.” —The New York Times Book Review “[A] jazzy, sinewy debut . . . Thomas’s urgent, quicksilver prose makes even the darkest moments of this novel shine.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

How Should a Person Be?

Author : Sheila Heti
Publisher : Henry Holt and Company
Release : 2012-06-19
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781429943482

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Book How Should a Person Be? Description/Summary:

Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times "Funny...odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable...unlike any novel I can think of."—David Haglund, The New York Times Book Review "Brutally honest and stylistically inventive, cerebral, and sexy."—San Francisco Chronicle Named a Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Flavorpill, The New Republic, The New York Observer, The Huffington Post A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium—a compulsive read that's like "spending a day with your new best friend" (Bookforum) Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twentysomething playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close—sometimes too close—observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might regain her footing in art and life. Using transcribed conversations, real emails, plus heavy doses of fiction, the brilliant and always innovative Sheila Heti crafts a work that is part literary novel, part self-help manual, and part bawdy confessional. It's a totally shameless and dynamic exploration into the way we live now, which breathes fresh wisdom into the eternal questions: What is the sincerest way to love? What kind of person should you be?

Burnt Sugar

Author : Avni Doshi
Publisher : Abrams
Release : 2021-01-26
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781647002268

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Book Burnt Sugar Description/Summary:

Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, a searing literary debut novel set in India about mothers and daughters, obsession and betrayal “I would be lying if I say my mother’s misery has never given me pleasure,” says Antara, Tara’s now-adult daughter. In her youth, Tara was wild. She abandoned her marriage to join an ashram, and while Tara is busy as a partner to the ashram’s spiritual leader, Baba, little Antara is cared for by an older devotee, Kali Mata, an American who came to the ashram after a devastating loss. Tara also embarks on a stint as a beggar (mostly to spite her affluent parents) and spends years chasing a disheveled, homeless artist, all with young Antara in tow. But now Tara is forgetting things, and Antara is an adult––an artist and married––and must search for a way to make peace with a past that haunts her as she confronts the task of caring for a woman who never cared for her. Sharp as a blade and laced with caustic wit, Burnt Sugar unpicks the slippery, choking cord of memory and myth that binds mother and daughter. Is Tara’s memory loss real? Are Antara’s memories fair? In vivid and visceral prose, Tibor Jones South Asia Prize–winning writer Avni Doshi tells a story, at once shocking and empathetic, about love and betrayal between a mother and a daughter. A journey into shifting memories, altering identities, and the subjective nature of truth, Burnt Sugar is a stunning and unforgettable debut.

Gingerbread

Author : Helen Oyeyemi
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2019-03-05
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780525539087

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Book Gingerbread Description/Summary:

"Exhilarating...A wildly imagined, head-spinning, deeply intelligent novel." - The New York Times Book Review "[W]ildly inventive…[Helen Oyeyemi's] prose is not without its playful bite." –Vogue The prize-winning, bestselling author of Boy Snow Bird, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, and Peaces returns with a bewitching and imaginative novel. Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories, beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe. Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (or, according to many sources, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. The world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread, however, is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend Gretel Kercheval —a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met. Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.

There Has to Be a Knife

Author : Adnan Khan
Publisher : arsenal pulp press
Release : 2019-11-12
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781551527864

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Book There Has to Be a Knife Description/Summary:

In this blistering debut novel, author Adnan Khan investigates themes of race, class, masculinity and contemporary relationships. Omar Ali, twenty-seven-year-old line cook and petty criminal, gets a phone call from his ex-girlfriend’s father at work, informing Omar that Anna has committed suicide. Unable to process or articulate his grief, and suffering from insomnia, Omar embarks on a quest to obtain her suicide note from her elusive parents. As he unravels, Omar finds himself getting involved in break-ins, online terrorism, dealing with the police, and losing his best friend as he becomes less recognizable. There Has to Be a Knife examines expectations -- both intimate and political -- on brown men, exploring ideas of cultural identity and the tropes we use to represent them.

Damnificados

Author : J. J. Amaworo Wilson
Publisher : Pm Press
Release : 2015-09-01
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 1629631175

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Book Damnificados Description/Summary:

Damnificados is loosely based on the real-life occupation of a half-completed skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, the Tower of David. In this fictional version, six hundred 'damnificados' - vagabonds and misfits - take over an abandoned urban tower and set up a community complete with schools, stores, beauty salons, bakeries and a rag-tag defensive militia. Their always heroic (and often hilarious) struggle for survival and dignity pits them against corrupt police, the brutal military and the tyrannical 'owners'.

Light

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2013
Category : Poetry
ISBN : 1897141564

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Book Light Description/Summary:

Souvankham Thammavongsa’s third book of poetry, Light, examines the word that gives the collection its name. There are poems about a sparkle, about how to say light, about a scarecrow, a dung beetle, a fish without eyes. Known for her precision and elegance, for her small clear voice, for distilling meaning from details, for not wasting words, Thammavongsa confirms her gifts with these new poems. Light is a work that shines with rigour, humour, courage and grit.

We Two Alone

Author : Jack Wang
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2021-06-08
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780063081802

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Book We Two Alone Description/Summary:

Praised as “utterly remarkable” and “deeply resonant” by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Viet Thanh Nguyen and Robert Olen Butler, a bold and brilliant debut collection, in the vein of The Refugees, which dramatizes the Chinese diaspora across the globe over the past hundred years. Set on five continents and spanning decades, We Two Alone traces the arc and evolution of the Chinese immigrant experience. A young laundry boy risks his life, pretending to be a girl to play organized hockey in Canada in the 1920s. A Canadian couple is caught when Shanghai succumbs to violence during the Second Sino-Japanese War. A family sttempts to buy a home in South Africa in the early years of apartheid. An actor in New York struggles to keep his career alive while yearning to reconcile with his estranged wife. From the vulnerable and disenfranchised to the educated and privileged, the characters in this extraordinary collection embody the diversity of the Chinese diaspora past and present. In these deeply affecting stories, Jack Wang subverts expectations as he captures the hope, pain, and sacrifices of the millions who journey into the unknown to create better lives, and explores the shifting boundaries of morality, the intimacies and failings of love, and the choices circumstances force us to make.

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Author : Helen Oyeyemi
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2016-03-08
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780698407879

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Book What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours Description/Summary:

"Transcendent." —The New York Times Book Review "Flawless. . . another masterpiece from an author who seems incapable of writing anything that's less than brilliant." —NPR From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Peaces comes an enchanting collection of intertwined stories. Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason). Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours captivates as it explores the many possible answers.

Somebody with a Little Hammer

Author : Mary Gaitskill
Publisher : Vintage
Release : 2017-04-04
Category : Literary Collections
ISBN : 9781101871775

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Book Somebody with a Little Hammer Description/Summary:

In essays on matters literary, social, cultural, and personal, Mary Gaitskill explores date rape and political adultery, the transcendentalism of the Talking Heads, the melancholy of Björk, and the playfulness of artist Laurel Nakadate. She celebrates the clownish grandiosity and the poetry of Norman Mailer’s long career and maps the sociosexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace. Witty, wide-ranging, tender, and beautiful, Somebody with a Little Hammer displays the same heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which Gaitskill’s writing has always been known.

Small Arguments

Author : Souvankham Thammavongsa
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2003
Category : Poetry
ISBN : 0973214058

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Book Small Arguments Description/Summary:

Reminiscent of Pablo Neruda's Elemental Odes, Small Arguments is a stunningly original debut by a gifted young poet. The language of Small Arguments is simple yet there is nothing simple in its ideas. The work touches on the structures of argument, orchestrating material around repetition, variation and contrast. Thammavongsa's approach is like that of a scientist/philosopher, delicately probing material for meaning and understanding. The poet collects small lives, and argues for a larger belonging: a grain of dirt, a crushed cockroach, the eyes of a dead dragonfly. It is a work that suggests we can create with what we know and with that alone. -- "This is the voice of a pilgrim, the one who bends to see, leans to hear... Thammavongsa has distilled her meaning from her details so masterfully and with such confident wisdom that she seems to be reading nature. Through her eyes, we can believe we see the true meaning in things." - Anne Michaels"A formidable work." - George Elliot Clarke