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Karate Chop: Stories (Lannan Translation Selection)

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Karate Chop: Stories (Lannan Translation Selection) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first book in English by an acclaimed Danish writer: “beautiful, faceted, haunting stories . . . [from] a rising star” (Junot Díaz)

Karate Chop, Dorthe Norss acclaimed story collection, is the debut book in the collaboration between Graywolf Press and A Public Space. These fifteen compact stories are meticulously observed glimpses of everyday life that expose the ominous lurking under the ordinary. While his wife sleeps, a husband prowls the Internet, obsessed with female serial killers; a bureaucrat tries to reinvent himself, exposing goodness as artifice when he converts to Buddhism in search of power; a woman sits on the edge of the bed where her lover lies, attempting to locate a motive for his violence within her own self-doubt. Shifting between moments of violence (real and imagined) and mundane contemporary life, these stories encompass the complexity of human emotions, our capacity for cruelty as well as compassion. Not so much minimalist as stealthy, Karate Chop delivers its blows with an understatement that shows a master at work.

Review:

"These very short works (most are no more than three pages, the longest is roughly eight) are as sharp-edged, destructive, and intentionally made as the title suggests. Nowhere here is a word out of place. Imagine Grace Paley with more than a little of Mary Gaitskill's keen eye for the despair and violence of sex, mixed with an otherness that's unsettlingly odd and vivid. The sentences are brightly visual and attuned to the weird details of each character's inner world. In 'Janus,' protagonist Louise lies in bed after losing her virginity. She follows her thoughts to an afternoon spent licking envelopes at her father's office, where she had an intimate daydream about one addressee. 'There he had lain under his white linen, smelling of duvet, and Louise had wanted to cry.' Nors's stories (most like Paley in this way) have multiple stories within them, holding hands with each other. In 'Female Killers,' Nors writes, 'Maybe that's why she opens doors in the mind. Doors, stairwells, pantries.' Each of these pages contains a trapdoor, a side entrance, and, at times, they feel like dispatches from an alien world (or maybe the basement). Nors's writing doesn't just observe the details of life — online searches, laundry, fantasies, conversations with semi-strangers, compulsions — it offers a marvelous, truthful take on how these details illustrate our souls." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dorthe Nors is the author of five novels and the recipient of the Danish Arts Agencys Three Year Grant for “her unusual and extraordinary talent.” Her stories have appeared in Agni, A Public Space, Boston Review, Ecotone, and Fence.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555976651
Author:
Nors, Dorthe
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Author:
Aitken, Martin
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Karate Chop: Stories (Lannan Translation Selection) New Trade Paper
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Product details 112 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555976651 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "These very short works (most are no more than three pages, the longest is roughly eight) are as sharp-edged, destructive, and intentionally made as the title suggests. Nowhere here is a word out of place. Imagine Grace Paley with more than a little of Mary Gaitskill's keen eye for the despair and violence of sex, mixed with an otherness that's unsettlingly odd and vivid. The sentences are brightly visual and attuned to the weird details of each character's inner world. In 'Janus,' protagonist Louise lies in bed after losing her virginity. She follows her thoughts to an afternoon spent licking envelopes at her father's office, where she had an intimate daydream about one addressee. 'There he had lain under his white linen, smelling of duvet, and Louise had wanted to cry.' Nors's stories (most like Paley in this way) have multiple stories within them, holding hands with each other. In 'Female Killers,' Nors writes, 'Maybe that's why she opens doors in the mind. Doors, stairwells, pantries.' Each of these pages contains a trapdoor, a side entrance, and, at times, they feel like dispatches from an alien world (or maybe the basement). Nors's writing doesn't just observe the details of life — online searches, laundry, fantasies, conversations with semi-strangers, compulsions — it offers a marvelous, truthful take on how these details illustrate our souls." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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