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The Entire Predicamentby Lucy Corin
Synopses & Reviews
In this refreshing, funny, and startling collection of stories, Lucy Corin veers far from the path of staid contemporary fiction. She masterfully weaves traditional and experimental topics and techniques, creating a fictional world where people behave normally in the most extreme situations, and in bizarrely with almost no provocation at all. But thanks to her vivid, sharp prose and insightful first-person voices, even the oddest behavior is utterly believable. Unpredictable and playful, these stories transcend their apocalyptic feel to offer a vision that is clear, humane, and completely engaging. The Entire Predicament secures Corinâ€™s reputation as an original, stylistically courageous voice in contemporary avant-garde fiction.
"A wide range of bizarre disquistions and turns of events marks Corin's debut collection. The narrator of 'Wizened' declares that she 'became crotchety' at age 24, wears housecoats and thick stockings, and spies on her neighbors for even the most minor signs of wrongdoing; with distinct Malthusian overtones, she declares that there are too many people, and that she only approves of the couple next door-whom she refers to as 'the homosexuals.' A similar preoccupation with an ominous future figures prominently in 'Airplane,' in which a woman explains a flight in every last detail, including the snap of the mesh bag attached to the seat, and 'My Favorite Dentist,' which juxtaposes the calm routine of a dental appointment with a rash of sniper attacks in Washington, D.C. At times, Corin digresses into an overly affected stream of consciousness ('Mice,' 'A Woman with a Gardener'), and some moments feel forced, as when a narrator refers to her knowledge that 'if she continues to speak, some recognition of difficulty will materialize, as if difficulty is produced from the interaction of her voice with the air it encounters.' At her best, however, Corin infuses ordinary situations with powerful and unexpected images, from which she deftly draws a dry, detached humor." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"These short stories are as smart as pinpricks, magic tricks. They go off like a string of firecrackers." Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners
"Sometimes quirkily funny, sometimes shading into menace or serious derangement, The Entire Predicament zigzags its way over the walls we tend to build between the serious, the absurd, the humorous, the off-kilter, and the mad. This is an uncanny book." Brian Evenson, author of The Open Curtain
"Lucy Corin's Swiftian satires are brilliant — stunningly so — and entirely original." Rikki Ducornet, author of The Word "Desire"
"These stories are sharp, subtle, and surprising, rendering the truth of experience beautifully into fiction." Lynn Freed, author of Reading, Writing and Leaving Home
"Lucy Corin's The Entire Predicament is a book of eyes and I's. Behold, wherever Corin's eye falls on this occluded world of ours, it is transformed in a twinkling — the scales come unhinged and we can't fail to see to see." Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and The Blue Guide to Indiana
About the Author
Corin is an assistant professor in the English Department at James Madison University.
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