From the bestselling author of The Church of Dead Girls and Boy in the Water, a collection of award-winning stories that probe our strange and unpredictable emotional lives.
In his first collection of stories, Stephen Dobyns, peerless chronicler of the menace and unease that lurk in small-town America, turns his attention to the dark, inescapable forces that test the patience, fidelity, and even good sense of the most ordinary people.
The sixteen stories in Eating Naked-two of which appeared in The Best American Short Stories-range from surreal to poignant, from chilling to comic. At the center of them all are men and women challenged by their own uncontrollable, illogical natures: poets with free-floating guilt, spouses with unacceptable sexual compulsions, farmers with midlife crises, gas men with erratic timetables. Marriages unravel, well-laid plans dissolve, and placid lives are turned upside down by something unforeseen-be it as mundane as a chance conversation, as inevitable as death, as improbable as a murderous pig. Now writing in a new form, Dobyns once again reveals his psychological acuity and grasp of social frailty. Sharp, funny, and profound, Eating Naked gets to the heart of a world in which order and reason rarely prevail over human peculiarity and longing for the astonishing and the unexpected.
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Stephen Dobyns is the author of nine volumes of poetry, a book of essays (Best Words, Best Order), and nineteen novels, including The Church of Dead Girls and Boy in the Water. His short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Short Stories of 1993 and 1999.
While Dobyns has written 20 novels (The Church of Dead Girls) and 10 books of poetry (Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides), this is his first story collection, and he proves himself an adept at the form. In these 16 tales he unveils a landscape of adultery, divorce, abandonment--a vista of dysfunctional relationships in which domestic bliss is rare and dark humor flourishes. In "A Happy Vacancy," a man is killed by a falling pig. After his bizarre, well-publicized death, his widow, a professor named Harriet, finds people chuckling whenever she enters the room. She quits her job, moves to the Midwest and tries to put the strange event into perspective: "For her, death had become a joke, a dreadful buffo, and she needed to make it big again." In "Part of the Story," a 63-year-old waitress prepares to meet, for the first time, her five children (each the product of a backseat or motel-room affair, each given up for adoption). The reunion is complicated by her latest lover, Burt--sitting dead in her bedroom, stricken by an in flagrante heart attack. Other stories feature a cuckolded poet who tries to get revenge by kidnapping his wife, only to be cut to the quick by her insults, and a gas man who breaks his leg while reading a meter and gets stuck in long conversation with a cruel man caring for his dying wife. What keeps these stories fresh, despite the regularity of misfortune, are Dobyns's deadpan humor and his characters' wry, unpredictable personalities, plus the sheer oddity of their dilemmas. Despite the often wretched combinations of hope, failure and pride experienced by Dobyns's characters, readers will be moved with compassion for their vigorously human lives. (May) FYI: Stories from this collection have appeared in the 1996 Pushcart Anthology and the 1995 and 1999 Best American Short Stories.
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Book Description London: Penguin Books, 2000, 2000. Book Condition: As New. Ships from the UK. Book in almost Brand New condition. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96671408
Book Description London: Penguin Books, 2000, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0140292063I3N00
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 07/12/2000, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780140292060
Book Description -. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Eating Naked: Stories This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140292060
Book Description Dec 07, 2000. Book Condition: Used: Very Good. expédition sécurisée immédiate.destockage de magasin. Bookseller Inventory # 8C938F6425A1
Book Description London: Penguin Books, 2000, London, 2000. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Paper Wraps. First Thus. Trade Paperback. Fine/Paper Wraps. First Thus. 4 x 7". Illustrated wraps with wraparound cover illustration of falling pigs by Alan Baker; titles in red, black, and white. Very slight tanning to edges, price sticker on back cover, else as new with no previous owner markings or signs of use. This is a collection of award-winning "blackly funny" short stories by Dobyns, first published in the U.S. by Henry Holt in hard cover in 2000. This copy is from the first publication in England. 276 pages. Rare in this edition. Size: 4 x 7". Bookseller Inventory # 001301