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Not the End of the World: Stories
Synopses & Reviews
When she burst onto the literary scene with her prizewinning debut, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson announced herself as a writer of rare and original talent. The stories in Atkinson's newest work of fiction confirm her abundant gifts: equal parts comedy, tragedy, and myth, they inevitably lead to utterly surprising conclusions. Meredith Zane, one of the legendary Zane sisters, known for their perfect teeth and far-flung travels, may have just discovered the secret of eternal life. Fielding, a burned-out media critic, suspects he has a doppelgänger who is sullying his reputation — and having a much better time than Fielding ever has. Marianne is a young mother whose untimely end on a rainy highway doesn't necessarily keep her out of her family's life. Arthur, a neglected and precocious eight-year-old boy taken under the wing of an enigmatic nanny, discovers a world he never knew existed.
It's Kate Atkinson's world, and these are just a few of its inhabitants, a constellation of unforgettable characters living unpredictably between reality and possibility. With wry humor and keen observation, with nods to traditions both ancient and contemporary, Not the End of the World crackles with endlessly entertaining comedy and substance.
"Kate Atkinson's playful way with words and ambitious sense of structure evoke, among others, giants Thomas Pynchon and Abbott and Costello. She delights so thoroughly in the power and possibilities of writing, and in the fun of language, that it's difficult not to join her." New York Post
"Marvelously loopy new story collection....Atkinson casts a dazzling spell." ELLE!
"Atkinson's luminescent imagery is sure and sophisticated, poetic and darkly comic." Boston Globe
"Atkinson specializes in audacity, which she offers up with irresistible humor and grace." San Francisco Chronicle
"Atkinson's language is a joy." Commonwealth
"While not as intense or as unified as Atkinson's full-length work, this is a sharp and wholly original collection." Publishers Weekly
"Twelve debut stories from Whitbread winner Atkinson are unparalleled in deftness but in their depth less compelling....The pieces are nothing, though, if not capable in their details." Kirkus Reviews
Arthur is a precocious eight-year-old boy whose mother is a B-list celebrity more concerned with her bank account than with her son's development. Then an enigmatic young nanny introduces him to a world he never knew existed.
About the Author
Kate Atkinson's first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the UK in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet and Emotionally Weird. She lives in Edinburgh.
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