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The Heaven of Animals

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The Heaven of Animals Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Named one of Amazon’s Best Short Story Collections of 2014

One of Atlanta Journal Constitution’s 9 Best Books of 2014

Best Short Story Collection of the Year, Tweed's Magazine

Winner of GLCA New Writers Award for Fiction

In each of the stories in this remarkable debut, award-winning writer David James Poissant explores the tenuous bonds of family—fathers and sons, husbands and wives—as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love.

His strikingly true-to-life characters have reached a precipice, chased there by troubles of their own making. Standing at the brink, each must make a choice: Leap, or look away? Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin writes that Poissant forces us “to face the people we are when we’re alone in the dark.”

From two friends racing to save the life of an alligator in “Lizard Man” to a girl helping her boy­friend face his greatest fears in “The End of Aaron,” from a man who stalks death on an Atlanta street corner to a brother’s surprise at the surreal, improb­able beauty of a late night encounter with a wolf, Poissant creates worlds that shine with honesty and dark complexity, but also with a profound compas­sion. These are stories hell-bent on hope.

Fresh, smart, lively, and wickedly funny, The Heaven of Animals is startlingly original and compul­sively readable. As bestselling author Kevin Wilson puts it, “Poissant is a writer who knows us with such clarity that we wonder how he found his way so easily into our hearts and souls.”

Review:

"Imprecise language and a didactic resolution mar this entertaining but ultimately underwhelming debut collection of stories. Standouts include 'Lizard Man,' in which the death of a friend's father serves as a catalyst for a homophobic man to restore relations with his gay son (a plotline picked up again by the connected title story), and the pitch-perfect 'Last of the Great Land Mammals,' in which a dual narrative chronicles a couple's experience at Kentucky's Big Bone Lick State Park, culminating with the surreal image of a woman riding a bison. While some of the longer stories, such as 'Amputee,' wear out their welcome, due, in part, to clichés like 'her touch was electric,' the shortest stories in the collection feel padded. 'The Baby Glows' and '100% Cotton,' clocking in at under four pages each, and featuring a glowing baby and a stickup shooter, respectively, devolve into tired metaphors. There are some great moments — good bits of dialogue and interesting premises — but for the most part, the stories don't live up to their potential. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In this masterful debut, an award-winning writer and first-rate storyteller explores the tenuous bonds of family--fathers and sons, husbands and wives--as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love.

In each of the stories in this remarkable collection, David

About the Author

David James Poissant’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Playboy, One Story, The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. His writing has been awarded the Matt Clark Prize, the RopeWalk Fiction Chapbook Prize, the George Garrett Fiction Award, and the Alice White Reeves Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts & Letters, as well as awards from the Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, and Playboy. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781476729961
Subtitle:
Stories
Author:
Poissant, David James
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140311
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
228.6 x 152.4 mm

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The Heaven of Animals Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781476729961 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Imprecise language and a didactic resolution mar this entertaining but ultimately underwhelming debut collection of stories. Standouts include 'Lizard Man,' in which the death of a friend's father serves as a catalyst for a homophobic man to restore relations with his gay son (a plotline picked up again by the connected title story), and the pitch-perfect 'Last of the Great Land Mammals,' in which a dual narrative chronicles a couple's experience at Kentucky's Big Bone Lick State Park, culminating with the surreal image of a woman riding a bison. While some of the longer stories, such as 'Amputee,' wear out their welcome, due, in part, to clichés like 'her touch was electric,' the shortest stories in the collection feel padded. 'The Baby Glows' and '100% Cotton,' clocking in at under four pages each, and featuring a glowing baby and a stickup shooter, respectively, devolve into tired metaphors. There are some great moments — good bits of dialogue and interesting premises — but for the most part, the stories don't live up to their potential. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , In this masterful debut, an award-winning writer and first-rate storyteller explores the tenuous bonds of family--fathers and sons, husbands and wives--as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love.

In each of the stories in this remarkable collection, David

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