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Stranger Things Happenby Kelly Link
A Salon.com Best Book of 2001.
Synopses & Reviews
This first collection by award-winning author Kelly Link, takes fairy tales and cautionary tales, dictators and extraterrestrials, amnesiacs and honeymooners, revenants and readers alike, on a voyage into new, strange, and wonderful territory. The girl detective must go to the underworld to solve the case of the tap-dancing bank robbers. A librarian falls in love with a girl whose father collects artificial noses. A dead man posts letters home to his estranged wife. Two women named Louise begin a series of consecutive love affairs with a string of cellists. A newly married couple become participants in an apocalyptic beauty pageant. Sexy blond aliens invade New York City. A young girl learns how to make herself disappear.
These eleven extraordinary stories are quirky, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. Every story contains a secret prize. Each story was written especially for you.
Stories from Stranger Things Happen have won the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Award. Stranger Things Happen was a Salon Book of the Year, one of the Village Voice's 25 Favorite Books of 2001, and was nominated for the Firecracker Alternative Book Award.
"Link uses the nonsensical to illuminate truth, blurring the distinctions between the mundane and the fantastic to tease out the underlying meanings of modern life." Booklist
"An intrepid young woman described only as the Girl Detective, seeks her long-lost mother by paying a visit to the Underworld. A woman whose boyfriend went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and was last seen getting into the Snow Queen's sleigh embarks on a bloody-minded journey with the intention of dragging him back or at least of giving him a piece of her mind. A librarian falls in love with a girl whose parents, between the two of them, have a wooden nose, a wooden leg, and a barnful of sinister black dogs. A not very good husband who can't quite remember his wife's name writes her woebegone letters from the deserted seaside hotel he's beginning to suspect might be a waystop on the path to the next world. Besotted newlyweds watch a televised beauty pageant whose contestants seem not entirely human (especially Miss New Jersey, who has horns and a tail). Kelly Link's exquisite stories mix the aggravations and epiphanies of everyday life with the stuff that myths, dreams, and nightmares are made of. Some of them are very scary, others are immensely sad, many are funny, and all of them are written in prose so flawless you almost forget how much elemental human chaos they contain." Laura Miller, "The Best Books of 2001," Salon.com
A debut collection of extraordinary stories from an award-winning author.
For fans of George Saunders and Raymond Carver, this powerful, imaginative story collection takes readers on a journey from the afterlife to contemporary times to the early days of Mormonism—a stunning debut by an acclaimed McSweeneys and Tin House contributor.
Winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Named "Outstanding 2014 Collection" by The Story Prize
Pushcart Prize WinnerIn this stunning debut, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From “The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death,” an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to “Winter Elders,” in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.
The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in “Diviner,” a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next.Godforsaken Idaho named 'Outstanding 2013 Short Story Collections' by The Story Prize
“An alchemical mix of Borges, Raymond Chandler and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”—Salon.com (Best of the Year)
“A delightful collection.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“My favorite fantasy writer.”—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered
"Link's stories defy explanation, or at least, brief summary, instead working on the plane between dream and cognitive dissonance. They are true to themselves: witty, beautiful, funny, and startling."—Rain Taxi
"Link uses the nonsensical to illuminate truth, blurring the distinctions between the mundane and the fantastic to tease out the underlying meanings of modern life."—Booklist
"The 11 fantasies in this first collection from rising star Link are so quirky and exuberantly imagined that one is easily distracted from their surprisingly serious underpinnings of private pain and emotional estrangement."
Kelly Link's collection of stories, Stranger Things Happen, really scores.
—Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine
"A tremendously appealing book, and lovers of short fiction should fall over themselves getting out the door to find a copy."
—Washington Post Book World
"Stylistic pyrotechnics light up a bizarre but emotionally truthful landscape. Link's a writer to watch."
"A set of stories that are by turns dazzling, funny, scary, and sexy, but only when they're not all of these at once. Kelly Link has strangeness, charm and spin to spare. Writers better than this don't happen."
—Karen Joy Fowler
"Kelly Link is probably the best short story writer currently out there, in any genre or none. She puts one word after another and makes real magic with them-funny, moving, tender, brave and dangerous. She is unique, and should be declared a national treasure, and possibly surrounded at all times by a cordon of armed marines."
"Kelly Link is the exact best and strangest and funniest short story writer on earth that you have never heard of at the exact moment you are reading these words and making them slightly inexact. Now pay for the book."
The eleven stories in Kelly Link’s debut collection are funny, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. They were all especially written for you. A Best of the Year pick from Salon.com, Locus, The Village Voice, and San Francisco Chronicle. Includes Nebula, World Fantasy, and Tiptree award-winning stories.
Kelly Link is the author of three collections of short fiction Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have won three Nebula, a Hugo, and a World Fantasy Award. She was born in Miami, Florida, and once won a free trip around the world by answering the question “Why do you want to go through the world?” (”Because you can’t go through it.”)
Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press, co-edit the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and play ping-pong. In 1996 they startd the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
About the Author
Kelly Link is the author of two collections, Magic for Beginners (chosen as a 2005 Best Book by Time Magazine, Salon.com, and Book Sense) and Stranger Things Happen. She is the editor of the anthology Trampoline. She and her husband Gavin J. Grant started Small Beer Press in 2000.
Table of Contents
1. The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death 1
2. About as Fast as This Car Will Go 29
3. Families Are Forever! 45
4. Pocket Dog 71
5. Godforsaken Idaho 91
6. Winter Elders 105
7. Opposition in All Things 127
8. Gulls 169
9. Diviner 181
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