Black Glass: Short Fictions (Hardcover)
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An early work from PEN/Faulkner Award winner and Man Booker finalist Karen Joy Fowler, reissued and beautifully repackaged for new fans and old.
First published in 1998 to high praise, and now reissued with the addition of a prefatory essay, Black Glass showcases the extraordinary talents of this prizewinning author. In fifteen gemlike tales, Fowler lets her wit and vision roam freely, turning accepted norms inside out and fairy tales upside down—pushing us to reconsider our unquestioned verities and proving once again that she is among our most subversive writers.
So, then: Here is Carry Nation loose again, breaking up discos, smashing topless bars, radicalizing women as she preaches clean living to men more intent on babes and booze. And here is Mrs. Gulliver, her patience with her long-voyaging Lemuel worn thin: Money is short and the kids can’t even remember what their dad looks like. And what of Tonto, the ever-faithful companion, turning forty without so much as a birthday phone call from that masked man?
It is a book full of great themes and terrific stories—but it is the way in which Fowler tells the tale, develops plot and character, plays with time, chance, and reality that makes these pieces so original.
About the Author
Karen Joy Fowler, a PEN/Faulkner and California Book Award winner, is the author of six novels (two of them New York Times bestsellers) and four short story collections. She has been a Dublin IMPAC nominee, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.
Praise for Black Glass
“Highly imaginative...In fine-edged and discerning prose, [Fowler] manages to re-create both life's extraordinary and its ordinary magic.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A splendid book, displaying a dazzling range of style, tone, and odd, true insights. Fowler is one of a kind.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“What if the ever-faithful Tonto turned the big Four-O and his self-centered boss didn't even send him a birthday card? What if Carrie Nation were on the loose again, invading bars, smashing bottles and terrorizing customers? What if a therapist did a clinical study of Elizabeth, who was three women at once: Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lizzie Bordon who took an ax?...In the best of [Fowler's] stories, you follow her weaving path into previously unimagined worlds.”—San Jose Mercury News
“Arresting...each piece puts us on notice in its own way that an intriguing intelligence is at work.”—The Boston Globe
“'Black Glass,' Fowler's longest story, is one of those marvels that defeat criticism...It's a piece of bravura virtuosity, which Fowler also manages to make extremely funny. You reread the story, intent on discovering how she did it, and end up losing yourself again to wonder and enjoyment.”—The Washington Post
“[An] astonishing narrative voice...at once lyric and ironic, satiric and nostalgic...Fowler can tell stories that engage and enchant.”—San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
"[A] literary wonder whose work is comparable to writers like Anne Tyler and Louise Erdrich."—Des Moines Register
“Fifteen ferociously imaginative and provocative new stories...Accomplished, risk-taking, exciting new work from one of our most interesting writers.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Stunning collection...carefully intertwines the ordinary with the extraordinary that what should seem incredible is fully believable. Though the stories may appear to be about a DEA agent who unwittingly revives the spirit of Carry A. Nation, two women held captive by aliens in the Brazilian rain forest, a magic potion made from a unicorn's horn, or a classroom of Venusians learning about Earthly love, at their core they are about human relationships and all the more startling for their insight from seemingly unrelated points...Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“[In] elegant and witty prose, [Fowler] cultivates the eye of a curious alien and, along the way, unfolds eccentric plots that keep the pages turning.”—Publishers Weekly