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Livability: Storiesby Jon Raymond
Synopses & Reviews
These nine gorgeous stories from novelist and screenwriter Raymond find pallid Northwesterners testing the moral perimeters of their decent lives. In The Suckling Pig, set around the preparations for a dinner party, the divorced middle-aged host hires two Mexican men for some yard work at his suburban house, then adds them to the guest list to spur on what turns out to be a transformative and class-blurring evening. The wayward protagonist of Train Choir hopes to make it to Alaska and find work with the fisheries, but she gets caught stealing food for her dog, setting off a chain of mishaps that sinks her deeper into a perverse, solitary rut. In Young Bodies, 17-year-old Russian emigre Kendra sneaks into the store where she works to return the money she'd stolen, only to get locked in the mall for the night with an increasingly unsympathetic co-worker. A sense of fragility pervades these characters' lives, and as the upsets that threaten each of them simmer, Raymond reveals how close failure (and worse) lingers.
A tired man, struggling to overcome the loss of his wife in a car accident. Two old friends, hoping to rediscover their connection on a trip to the woods. A screenwriter hoping to hear news about the future of his film.In Jon Raymond's deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters contend with the frustrations, longings, and mood swings we face every day. Artfully conveying the feeling of lived experience, these stories brim with gratifying sensory detail: the sound of a tree root snapping underfoot, the smell of a roast, the stillness of the air after music has stopped. And, with careful observations and a humane spirit, Livability gives us a portrait of America full of characters finding ways to survive their own choices.Published to coincide with the national release of Wendy and Lucy, these refined, elegiac stories are the work of a writer with a long and promising career ahead of him.
A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the
About the Author
Jon Raymond is the author of The Half-Life, a novel, and co-writer of the films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, adapted from stories in this collection. He is an editor at Plazm Magazine, and his writing has appeared in Bookforum, Artforum, Tin House, The Village Voice, and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Table of Contents
Old joy — The wind — The coast — Benny — The suckling pig — Words and things — Young bodies — New shores — Train choir.
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