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Nothing Right: Short Stories
Synopses & Reviews
A collection of stories from one of the New Yorkers “twenty young fiction writers of the new millennium,” a series of unforgettable glimpses into contemporary family life.
Set in the American Southwest, and featuring one previously unpublished story, Nothing Right shows one of our best writers working at the top of her game. Antonya Nelsons stories are masterpieces: poignant, hilarious, truthful explorations of domesticity.
The artfully rendered characters in Nothing Right try to keep themselves intact as their personal lives explode around them. A mother and her teenage son finally find common ground when his girlfriend becomes pregnant. A woman leaves her husband and finds herself living with a stranger who is getting extensive plastic surgery while her best friend is dying of cancer. In “Or Else,” one of three short stories nominated for a National Magazine Award for the New Yorker, a man brings his girlfriend to a house he claims belongs to his family, only to have his lie exposed when one of the real owners comes home to scatter her fathers ashes.
These stories are sure to delight longtime fans and readers lucky enough to be just discovering Antonya Nelson.
"In this powerful collection of 11 short stories, Nelson's brilliantly constructed characters negotiate love, family, home and truth. Nelson consistently pays exquisite attention to detail, resulting in rich, vivid characters and settings. In 'OBO,' a family is gathered together for the holidays, their day reflected in the items on the kitchen table: 'sparkling glitter that stuck in the syrup... then later... came the peanuts and poker chips and whiskey.' In 'Kansas,' a wife's pregnancy ('a weapon he could plant like a bomb') keeps an unhappy marriage alive. In 'Party of One,' a woman secretly suffering from cancer meets her sister's adulterous lover in a bar to put an end to the relationship. While most of the stories in this collection have been previously published (many in the New Yorker), two are new: 'We and They' and 'People People.' Nelson writes with wonderful grace and skill, each word carefully chosen, each passage carefully constructed. This beautiful collection is another remarkable accomplishment for a writer often hailed as one of our most talented storytellers." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in the American Southwest, and including one previously unpublished story, "Nothing Right" features poignant, hilarious, truthful explorations of domesticity and characters who try to keep themselves intact as their personal lives explode around them.
A contemporary master of the short story, Antonya Nelson writes with uncommon grace and unflinching insight about the remarkable realities of everyday existence. The eleven stories in Nothing Right?a selection of Nelson's greatest recent achievements, along with her latest, previously unpublished work?are largely set in her native Kansas, and resonate with deep familiarity. Nelson elegantly renders all the complexity, ambiguity, and beauty of daily life: the comforting rituals and unexpected disruptions, the maintenance of family ties and the poignant struggles of romance.
Honest, witty, and quietly revelatory, Nothing Right is a collection to be savored, showcasing a writer at the top of her form.
About the Author
Antonya Nelson is the author of eight books of fiction. Her works include Female Trouble and the novels Talking in Bed, Nobody's Girl, and Living to Tell. Nelson's work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harpers, Redbook, and in many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories, the O. Henry Awards, and Best American Short Stories. Her books have been New York Times Notable Books of 1992, 1996, 1998, and 2000. The New Yorker called her one of the "twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium." She is also the recent recipient of the Rea Award for Short Fiction and is a recipient of an NEA Grant 2000-01 and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
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