Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | November 7, 2014

    Carli Davidson: IMG Puppies for Sale? Read This First



    Shake Puppies contains an almost unsettling amount of cuteness. There is a good chance after looking through its pages you will get puppy fever and... Continue »
    1. $12.59 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Shake Puppies

      Carli Davidson 9780062351722

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$17.00
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
25 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Jenny and the Jaws of Life: Short Stories

by

Jenny and the Jaws of Life: Short Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jincy Willett is the high priestess of dark comedy. The classic stories in this collection cut through every convention, every idea of normalcy, with empathy and fearless wit, undermining all the old ideas about the happy family, the good son, the dutiful mother. In Willett's world, perversity and tenderness walk hand in hand; there's laughter and funerals, ambivalence in the nursery, and redemption for the wicked. As David Sedaris writes in his foreword, "I'm prepared to wear a sandwich board for this book. I can't help myself. It' just too good."

Jincy Willett is a writer and editor based in San Diego. She is the author of Winner of the National Book Award and The Writing Class.

Jincy Willett is the high priestess of dark comedy. The classic stories in this collection cut through every convention, every idea of normalcy, with empathy and fearless wit, undermining all the old ideas about the happy family, the good son, the dutiful mother. In Willett's world, perversity and tenderness walk hand in hand; there's laughter and funerals, ambivalence in the nursery, and redemption for the wicked. As David Sedaris writes in his foreword, "I'm prepared to wear a sandwich board for this book. I can't help myself. It' just too good."

"If I could rescue one book, I think it would be Jenny and the Jaws of Life . . . It's just the funniest collection of stories I've ever readreally funny and perfectly sad at the same time. There was a story in the book called 'The Best of Betty,' which was written in the form of letters to a household-hints author, and it was just perfection.”David Sedaris

"A triumphant collection . . . From a reader, Willett can provoke whoops of laughter, wonderment and grim speculation about the brevity of good times for human beings. There's an admirable toughness to her writing as she encompasses the contradictions and uncontrollability of life. She uses words with devastating preciseness."Chicago Tribune

"Marvelous . . . The language is tight, the scenes are built like blocks until an unexpected end that Willett works in a kind of gothic 'Gotcha.' She's a master of modern technique. Don't expect your usual short story here."Winston-Salem Journal

"Willett's fiction presents a cavalcade of accidents and tragedies, of mishaps and maladies and emergencies. What makes the short stories so striking is that Willett handles these catastrophes with such cool, wry wit. Willett is ready to join the select group of short story writersJoyce Carol Oates and Flannery O'Connor among themwho treat lurid, graphic material with psychological acuity and deadpan wit."Providence Journal

"Exquisite . . . A great, darkly comic collection."Esquire

"Just to be absolutely clear: I'm not recommending this title. I'm telling you: add this item to your basket."The Guardian (UK)

"Exhilarating. Her art has passed through anxiety and come out the other side, completely honest yet purged of the confessional whine or the need to call attention to its bravery."The Village Voice

“First published in 1987, this debut collection of morbidly funny stories has been given a well-deserved second life. Willett is a marvelous philosopher and humanist, even when writing about subjects that beg for a knee-jerk reaction. In ‘Resume, a run-of-the-mill man gives God a quick rundown of his life. He cheated on his wife once, but notes that he ‘cried once on someone else's account while watching a televised unfolding of American POWs returning to Washington and asks God to consider granting immortality in return for nothing, just as ‘a fresh approach. ‘Under the Bed is narrated by a woman who was beaten and raped in her own home. She says the rapist ‘measurably improved the quality of my life, because she no longer lives in fear of the unknown. In ‘Mr. Lazenbee, a sixth grader manipulates her school's new campaign to teach children about ‘touches that feel good and ‘touches that feel funny by pointing fingers at an easy neighborhood target. Willett is alive to the absurd in American culture and the tragicomic struggle for dignity that we often lose. ‘My mother is dying. My husband's mistress has myasthenia gravis. My younger daughter just gave all of her trust money to the Church of the Famous Maker . . . I can't sleep, and I'm not so much depressed as humiliated, both by slapstick catastrophe and by the minute tragedy of my wasted talents, laments Willett's funniest subject, an advice columnist who has an existential crisis in epistolary form. Though some of Willett's observations are predictable, the best of these stories still seem ahead of their time.”Publishers Weekly

“A character sounds the anthem for this well-wrought collection when she observes that ‘real life just happens, whereas stories make sense. Trapped in the chaos of life, Willett's peoplea wisecracking advice columnist headed toward crack-up, children who manipulate or murder their elders, rapists and their victimsstill try to make sense of its ‘pointless mess. Nostalgic reminiscence and imagination link the stories ‘My Father at the Wheel and ‘Father of Invention. In the endearing ‘Melinda Falling, a bored attorney is taken with the awkwardness of a dumpy secretary. From the despair and resignation of ‘Jenny to the hope of rescue and reconciliation of the ‘The Jaws of Life, Willett skirts life's heartless ironies lightly and with wit. She's clearly a writer to watch.”Mary Soete, Library Journal

Table of Contents

Forward by David Sedaris

Julie in the Funhouse

That Haunting of the Linguards

Melinda Falling

My Father, at the Wheel

Father of Invention

Anticipatory Grief

The Best of Betty

Under the Bed

Justine Laughs at Death

Mr. Lazenbee

Résumé

Jenny

The Jaws of Life

Synopsis:

Jincy Willett is the high priestess of dark comedy. The classic stories in this collection cut through every convention, every idea of normalcy, with empathy and fearless wit, undermining all the old ideas about the happy family, the good son, the dutiful mother. In Willett's world, perversity and tenderness walk hand in hand; there's laughter and funerals, ambivalence in the nursery, and redemption for the wicked. As David Sedaris writes in his foreword, "I'm prepared to wear a sandwich board for this book. I can't help myself. It' just too good."

Synopsis:

In these wonderfully funny and poignant stories, Willett's eccentric, complex characters think and do the unconventional. Soft, euphonic women gradually grow old; weak, unhappy men confront love and their own mortality; and abominable children desperately try to grow up with grace. With a unique voice and dry humor, Willett gives us a new insight into human existence, showing us those specific moments in relationships when life suddenly becomes visible.

Critically acclaimed when it was first published in 1987, Jenny and the Jaws of Life is being brought back due to popular demand. It's a timeless collection filled with a certain freshness and wit that ring just as loudly today.

About the Author

JINCY WILLETT is a writer and editor based in San Diego. She is the author of Winner of the National Book Award and The Writing Class.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312428105
Author:
Willett, Jincy
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
Sedaris, David
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short stories, American
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Black humor
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.81 x 5.8 x 0.725 in

Other books you might like

  1. Winner of the National Book Award: A... Sale Hardcover $1.00
  2. Birds of America
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  3. Birds of America
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  4. The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  5. The Horned Man
    Sale Hardcover $1.25
  6. The Lovely Bones
    Used Book Club Paperback $0.98

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Jenny and the Jaws of Life: Short Stories New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.00 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428105 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Jincy Willett is the high priestess of dark comedy. The classic stories in this collection cut through every convention, every idea of normalcy, with empathy and fearless wit, undermining all the old ideas about the happy family, the good son, the dutiful mother. In Willett's world, perversity and tenderness walk hand in hand; there's laughter and funerals, ambivalence in the nursery, and redemption for the wicked. As David Sedaris writes in his foreword, "I'm prepared to wear a sandwich board for this book. I can't help myself. It' just too good."

"Synopsis" by , In these wonderfully funny and poignant stories, Willett's eccentric, complex characters think and do the unconventional. Soft, euphonic women gradually grow old; weak, unhappy men confront love and their own mortality; and abominable children desperately try to grow up with grace. With a unique voice and dry humor, Willett gives us a new insight into human existence, showing us those specific moments in relationships when life suddenly becomes visible.

Critically acclaimed when it was first published in 1987, Jenny and the Jaws of Life is being brought back due to popular demand. It's a timeless collection filled with a certain freshness and wit that ring just as loudly today.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.