The awkwardness of modern living takes center stage in these nine short stories by Brian Wood. Well-intentioned characters fumble through social situations: a man making small talk in line for a deadly thrill ride, a pet parrot arrested for murder, a seductive stranger on an airplane who just pulled out a handle of gin. With sparse prose and candid humor, these stories draw attention to the absurdities of our day-to-day interactions.
“A collection full of startling, unforgettable treasures. With echoes of Kafka and homages to George Saunders, Brian Wood rewards readers with his remarkable combination of tenderness, searing wit, and striking inventions.”
—Joanna Scott, author of Careers For Women
“In my list of favorite stories—written by people like Cheever and Bolaño and Nabokov, Denis Johnson and Barry Hannah—are the ones that always, when I read and reread them, make me think: ‘Ah, yes: this is exactly how a short-story should be, look, sound, work.’ Welcome to my list, short-stories by Brian Wood.”
—Rodrigo Fresán, author of The Invented Part