It was several minutes before he could recover completely, and even while still labouring in darkness he formed a plan. The ice was already broken, and once that happened, it no longer mattered. There was tomorrow to think about Carl had hit it on the head, by God! Dr Weiner was standing beside him, still holding the hypodermic syringe. Nat nodded. Dr Weiner inspected the old puncture marks for infection and then moved listlessly toward a corner to deposit the syringe in a jar of antiseptic solution. Nat's eyes grew busy the moment he turned.
He had already noticed the small glass container on the desk, and he glanced quickly at each of the many cabinets in the room, trying to identify others like it inside them on the shelves. He felt fine now, really fine, but he kept a dejected look on his face, purposely acting. This is a bad neighbourhood for it. I get someone like you in here at least once a week.
Generally I put them to sleep and call the police. There are people there for the ninth and tenth time. There are people who spent most of their life there.
I can't kick it. Some can and some can't.
I tried and I can't. What else can you do? You can't let yourself go to hell like this. He lowered his eyes and continued in a tone of irony. Did you know that? She should be in to see me regularly. It's dangerous for her to stay away that long and she knows it, but she won't come.
She won't come because she hasn't any money to bring me. Dope is expensive and you won't be able to hold a job. Where are you going to get it?
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Nat hesitated a moment longer. There was one way left. He came forward like a shot and grabbed the bottle from the desk, then jumped back quickly, half expecting an attack of some sort, and when it did not come, he held his prize up triumphantly and laughed aloud. Dr Weiner observed the whole action with a cold and curious surprise. Nat laughed again, gloating.
He kept rolling the container between the palms of his hands. He was feeling a bit woozy now, and he squeezed it to convince himself that he really did have it. He laughed once more. I thought it might do some good to talk to you. Nat stared at him a moment, breathing hard, and then came around the desk like an animal and bent over him with a ferocious glare. You're crazy like all the rest of them!
Nat seized him by the lapels and lifted him from the chair, and all at once the whole scene hurtled over him and he was trapped like an innocent stranger inside the grotesque and demonic blur that flashed by him on every side and which he was now no longer able to control and powerless to understand. There was his own voice shouting from somewhere off in the corner and he had Dr Weiner in his hands and was shaking him, up and down, up and down, again and again, and there was the funny white head bouncing all around like the ping-pong ball in a popcorn machine.
A hand beat weakly against his chest and opened to offer a small glass jar which he took and rammed into his pants pocket. Then he was shaking again and the white head was tossing all about once more, and there was his own voice hollering "More! He turned slowly, smiling dreamily, and looked about the office. Everything seemed to doze beneath a shimmering blanket of tranquillity. He could see perfectly, but he stood staring at the door a few seconds before he realised it was what he was looking for. It was taking him so long to reach it. He could hear someone retching behind him and the choking voice trying to speak.
He began giggling, sniggering to himself furtively over the prankish secret of the weight in his pocket. A woman spoke as he passed through the waiting room, and he turned politely and made or thought he made - he couldn't quite be sure some gracious reply. He would go home now and lie in bed. He had the bottle from Dr Weiner and he would show it to his mother and say it was medicine and that Dr Weiner said he should lie in bed and not be disturbed.
He could stay in bed then and she wouldn't bother him. Outside, the same muffled peace prevailed, and it was like those pleasant June days when he was a child and his father used to take the family to the Palisades for a day in the country, or like those frosty, clear mornings after a snowfall when he awoke early and found everything in the street so clean and calm and white. The sun was warm on his face.
It was more like a day in the country with the sun so warm, and he walked along the avenue with the satisfying knowledge that it was never going to set. Joseph Heller published 13 short stories between and - eight of them before his first novel Catch established him as a major literary figure in He also wrote at least 20 stories that remained unpublished in his lifetime. Written between and , when Heller was 29, "A Day in the Country" is among them.
He started writing while in the air force awaiting discharge, and with the publication in in Story magazine of "I Don't Love You Anymore", about a returning American soldier, he began to reach out to an audience of readers damaged by their wartime experiences. I used to joke - and it wasn't much of an exaggeration - that a story I would mail to The New Yorker in the morning would be back with its concise, slighting rejection slip in the afternoon mail that same day.
With publications in Esquire and The Atlantic, Heller became moderately successful in the late s. But he never achieved the status of a full-time professional short-story writer. The heroes of his early stories experience as much despair as any character in Catch, without the concomitant hilarity. After a few seconds he shrugged and shook his head. I never beat you for a dime. You won't ever be back. I tried, but it isn't. Is he in now?
Wait, I'll go with you. Tell me quickly. She imitates the habits of studied politicians, hitting her cadences and singling out her working-class constituents to score pathos points. All the while, her focus remains on success rather than any particular ideology that might take her there. Which makes it all the more curious that posterity has cast Tracy Flick as an avatar for liberalism. At the time of the original release in , audiences already knew to read Tracy as a stand-in for Hillary Clinton; Witherspoon herself has reinforced the comparison, claiming just last year that she would never portray Clinton in a movie because she already had.
Clinton herself has told the star that even 20 years out, people still ask her about Election all the time. These details were foregrounded in essays around the lead-up to the Presidential vote, pieces with titles like The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in and Hillary Clinton, Tracy Flick, and the Reclaiming of Female Ambition. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves.
Tied to their ancestral and adopted homelands in ways unimaginable in generations past, these memorable characters straddle both worlds but belong to none. These stories shine a light on immigrant families navigating a new America, straddling cultures and continents, veering between dream and disappointment.
In this down and dirty debut she draws vivid portraits of bad people in worse places…A rising star of the new fast fiction, Hunter bares all before you can blink in her bold, beautiful stories. In this collection of slim southern gothics, she offers an exploration not of the human heart but of the spine; mixing sex, violence and love into a harrowing, head-spinning read.
Some readers noticed his nimble blending of humor with painful truths reminded them of George Saunders. But with his new collection, Jodzio creates a class of his own. Here they enter the worlds of sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, friends and lovers. With self-assurance and sensuality, April Ayers Lawson unravels the intertwining imperatives of intimacy—sex and love, violation and trust, spirituality and desire—eyeing, unblinkingly, what happens when we succumb to temptation.
Le Guin has, in each story and novel, created a provocative, ever-evolving universe filled with diverse worlds and rich characters reminiscent of our earthly selves. But as fantastical as these stories can be, they are always grounded by sly humor and an innate generosity of feeling for the frailty—and the hidden strengths—of human beings. From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed.
The award-winning narratives in this mesmerizing debut trace the lives of ex-pats, artists, and outsiders as they seek to find their place in the world. Straddling the border between civilization and the wild, they all struggle to make sense of their loneliness and longings in the stark and often isolating enclaves they call home—golden fields and white-veiled woods, dilapidated farmhouses and makeshift trailers, icy rivers and still lakes rouse the imagination, tether the heart, and inhabit the soul.
While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. Her characters are a strange ensemble—a feral child, a girl raised from the dead, a possible pedophile—who share in vulnerability and heartache, but maintain an unremitting will to survive. Meijer deals in desire and sex, femininity and masculinity, family and girlhood, crafting a landscape of appetites threatening to self-destruct.
In beautifully restrained and exacting prose, she sets the marginalized free to roam her pages and burn our assumptions to the ground. Propelled by a terrific instinct for storytelling, and concerned with the convolutions of modern love and the importance of place, this collection is about the battlefields—and fields of victory—that exist in seemingly harmless spaces, in kitchens and living rooms and cars. Set mostly in the American West, the stories feature small-town lawyers, ranchers, doctors, parents, and children, and explore the moral quandaries of love, family, and friendship.
Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.
In works that are as memorable, engrossing, and exciting as they are gorgeously crafted, Neugeboren delivers on his reputation as one of our pre-eminent American writers. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of migration.
Gordo, the old Cubano that watches over the graveyards and sleeping children of Brooklyn, stirs and lights another Malaguena. It introduces us to an arresting and unforgettable new voice. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these twenty-one vintage selected stories and thirteen scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston.
These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.
Topics John Updike Top 10s. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Their separation in , and Martinson's subsequent death in a car crash in , left a lasting mark on Roth's literary output. Alexander Weinstein is a visionary new voice in speculative fiction for all of us who are fascinated by and terrified of what we might find on the horizon. Like many dystopian writers, Butler takes a contemporary idea about how the world works and extends it to a logical extreme. Open it.
These fifteen linked tales confront readers with fractured marriages, mercurial temptations, and dark theological complexities, and establish a sultry and enticingly cool new voice in American fiction. Mothers, daughters, witches, artists, strangers, winged babies, and others grapple with deception, loss, and moments of extraordinary joy.