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Praying Drunk: Stories, Questions

by

Praying Drunk: Stories, Questions Cover

ISBN13: 9781936747634
ISBN10: 1936747634
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

A collection of loosely connected stories, musings, and meditations, all weaved together to illustrate the many different paths to overcoming grief and, one way or another, finding grace and healing. I wanted to call up the author afterward and either thank him or curse him out for ruining my day.
Recommended by Santi, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Publisher Comments:

"I finished this book with my heart pounding and grateful, my coffee cold and my smile wide and crying like a baby."—Daniel Handler

The characters in Praying Drunk speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. A man crushes pills on the bathroom counter while his son watches from the hallway; missionaries clumsily navigate an uprising with barbed wire and broken glass; a boy disparages memorized scripture, facedown on the asphalt, as he fails to fend off his bully. From Kentucky to Florida to Haiti, these seemingly disparate lives are woven together within a series of nested repetitions, enacting the struggle to remain physically and spiritually alive throughout the untamable turbulence of their worlds. In a masterful blend of fiction, autobiography, and surrealism, Kyle Minor shows us that the space between fearlessness and terror is often very small. Long before Praying Drunk reaches its plaintive, pitch-perfect end, Minor establishes himself again and again as one of the most talented younger writers in America.

Review:

"Similar to a great magic trick, the 13 stories in Minor's (In the Devil's Territory) latest lure reader investment with strong visuals while simultaneously pulling the rug out from underfoot with clever, literary sleights — of-hand. Though not necessarily linked in the traditional sense, there is a sequential order to the collection — ideas, locations, incidents, and characters echo as the volume chugs forward — and the result is an often dazzling, emotional, funny, captivating puzzle. At the heart of the book are the Haitian tales 'Seven Stories About Sebastian of Koulèv-Ville' and 'In a Distant Country.' Set within the same village, though separated by decades, the narratives follow the lives of missionaries and the natives they look to aid during the Duvalier dictatorship and after the 2010 earthquake. The ideas of trust and faith run deep, and these emotions bleed throughout the collection, particularly in the narratives concerning a character akin to the author, who frets over his musician brother (in 'There Is Nothing but Sadness in Nashville'), his dying grandfather (in 'First, the Teeth'), and his own convictions (in 'You Shall Go Out with Joy and Be Led Forth with Peace' and its companion, 'Suspended'). Minor's continuous play with form keeps the book fresh, despite a somewhat distracting presentation. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“Kyle Minor wants you to know that Praying Drunk is not actually, or only, a collection. In the epigraph, he warns: 'These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON'T SKIP AROUND.' Minor is right to insist. The stories may span decades as they move from Kentucky to Haiti and points between, but they work in concert to slowly reveal the landscape of an emotionally desolate quasi-America sinking under the weight of its own faith....Minor writes beautifully about these ruined lives.” New York Times Book Review

Review:

“An award-winning short fiction author offers twelve stories so ripe with realism as to suggest a roman à clef....This brilliant collection unfolds around a fractured narrative of faith and friends and family, loved and lost.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Review:

“The collections masterpiece, the novella “In a Distant Country,” works in epistolary style through a wide array of correspondents. All are connected somehow to a troubled Baptist mission in Haiti, and their community portrait, thanks to Minors ventriloquism, achieves tragic stature...[a] grim yet terrific collection.” Boston Globe

Review:

“As a jealous and deeply insecure writer, I wish I didn't have to report that these stories are enviably brilliant. But sadly, this is the fact of the matter. Kyle Minor has elevated the short story collection for me.” LA Review of Books

Synopsis:

Masterfully blended fiction and autobiography explores the lives of missionaries, drug addicts, and childhood bullies in Kentucky, Florida, and Haiti.

About the Author

Kyle Minor is the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction, the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction, and the author of In Devil's Territory (Dzanc Books, 2008). He is also a three-time honoree in the annual Atlantic Monthly writing contest, and was named one of Random Houses Best New Voices of 2006. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Salon.com, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, and Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jennacar, April 22, 2014 (view all comments by jennacar)
When Minor came to BYU and read a chapter from this book, I had to buy it. The imagery was so sharp I could close my eyes and see everything in my mind. I started reading and couldn’t put it down. Minor’s images throughout this novel-including a prostate tumor the size of a grapefruit, a bully who sits on top of 12-year-old and threatens to rape him, a father drug addict who invites his son standing in the doorway of the bathroom to join him-are infused in my mind. Minor grabbed my attention as I read, and a week later, I still can’t let go of the images. I think back on the images and words; they pop into my mind throughout the day. They’re dark and they stay with me; they bother me. I normally like to read happy, uplifting stories, but there is a way in which Minor explores darkness and contradictions that succeeds. He succeeds because he makes you see things you didn’t see before, questions things you didn’t question, and yes, he makes you struggle with a God whom I believe only does good, but who allows people do very bad, bad things. There are moments of light throughout the piece, but I don’t recommend reading this when you’re feeling down. It’s so heavy, though beautifully written. Minor taught me something about writing that changed my life. He came and guest-taught in a creative writing class here at BYU. He said: “Write stories that will give people a reason to read.” He pointed out that there are a million things on everybody’s to-do lists. What kind of story-telling will pull someone away from the to-do list, sit them down, and give them something to read/think about that is worth their time? He does that in Praying Drunk.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781936747634
Subtitle:
Stories, Questions
Author:
Minor, Kyle
Author:
Minor, Kyle
Publisher:
Sarabande Books
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose
Religion » Christianity » Christian Fiction

Praying Drunk: Stories, Questions New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Sarabande Books - English 9781936747634 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A collection of loosely connected stories, musings, and meditations, all weaved together to illustrate the many different paths to overcoming grief and, one way or another, finding grace and healing. I wanted to call up the author afterward and either thank him or curse him out for ruining my day.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Similar to a great magic trick, the 13 stories in Minor's (In the Devil's Territory) latest lure reader investment with strong visuals while simultaneously pulling the rug out from underfoot with clever, literary sleights — of-hand. Though not necessarily linked in the traditional sense, there is a sequential order to the collection — ideas, locations, incidents, and characters echo as the volume chugs forward — and the result is an often dazzling, emotional, funny, captivating puzzle. At the heart of the book are the Haitian tales 'Seven Stories About Sebastian of Koulèv-Ville' and 'In a Distant Country.' Set within the same village, though separated by decades, the narratives follow the lives of missionaries and the natives they look to aid during the Duvalier dictatorship and after the 2010 earthquake. The ideas of trust and faith run deep, and these emotions bleed throughout the collection, particularly in the narratives concerning a character akin to the author, who frets over his musician brother (in 'There Is Nothing but Sadness in Nashville'), his dying grandfather (in 'First, the Teeth'), and his own convictions (in 'You Shall Go Out with Joy and Be Led Forth with Peace' and its companion, 'Suspended'). Minor's continuous play with form keeps the book fresh, despite a somewhat distracting presentation. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “Kyle Minor wants you to know that Praying Drunk is not actually, or only, a collection. In the epigraph, he warns: 'These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON'T SKIP AROUND.' Minor is right to insist. The stories may span decades as they move from Kentucky to Haiti and points between, but they work in concert to slowly reveal the landscape of an emotionally desolate quasi-America sinking under the weight of its own faith....Minor writes beautifully about these ruined lives.”
"Review" by , “An award-winning short fiction author offers twelve stories so ripe with realism as to suggest a roman à clef....This brilliant collection unfolds around a fractured narrative of faith and friends and family, loved and lost.”
"Review" by , “The collections masterpiece, the novella “In a Distant Country,” works in epistolary style through a wide array of correspondents. All are connected somehow to a troubled Baptist mission in Haiti, and their community portrait, thanks to Minors ventriloquism, achieves tragic stature...[a] grim yet terrific collection.”
"Review" by , “As a jealous and deeply insecure writer, I wish I didn't have to report that these stories are enviably brilliant. But sadly, this is the fact of the matter. Kyle Minor has elevated the short story collection for me.”
"Synopsis" by ,
Masterfully blended fiction and autobiography explores the lives of missionaries, drug addicts, and childhood bullies in Kentucky, Florida, and Haiti.
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