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A few stories from Lee Upton's BOA Short Fiction Prize-winning collection The Tao of Humiliation were recently reviewed by Micheal Czyzniejewski of Story366. Czyzniejewski opens his review with a humorous anecdote of an experience he had with his son at the playground. He then segues to the review: "While I was there, not saving other people's kids from themselves, I read a few stories from Lee Upton's collection The Tao of Humiliation."

Focusing mainly on the title story from the collection, the review describes the main character, Everett, who attends an all-male strength-building seminar as a result of finding his now former girlfriend naked on a friend's couch. "It's unclear what exactly anyone wants out of the seminar," says Czyzniejewski, "but they go through the typical retreat shit, including motivational speakers and team-building exercises in the woods."

The review hones in on Upton's use of male fragility as the main theme of the story: ". . . it's easy to see the skeptical, satirical bent Upton's putting on it. The author is subtle, but she's definitely having a laugh at the expense of these men and their 'problems.'"

Czyniejewski concludes: "I really like the stories in Lee Upton’s The Tao of Humiliation, witty, solidly constructed pieces that are really unlike anything I’ve read before. I’m curious, of course, as to whether there’s more stories that feature a bunch of fragile males trying to sort out their feelings in hotel conference rooms, or if it’s just coincidence that two of the three I read feature this set-up. Either way, I’m going to read more of this book, as it’s a good one."

Click here to read the full Story366 review.

Get your copy of The Tao of Humiliation at the BOA Bookstore.

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