Synopses & Reviews
Jayne Anne Phillips's reputation-making debut collection paved the way for a new generation of writers. Raved about by reviewers and embraced by the likes of Raymond Carver, Frank Conroy, Annie Dillard, and Nadine Gordimer, Black Tickets
now stands as a classic.
With an uncanny ability to depict the lives of men and women who rarely register in our literature, Phillips writes stories that lay bare their suffering and joy. Here are the abused and the abandoned, the violent and the passive, the impoverished and the disenfranchised who populate the small towns and rural byways of the country. A patron of the arts reserves his fondest feeling for the one man who wants it least. A stripper, the daughter of a witch, escapes from poverty into another kind of violence. A young girl during the Depression is caught between the love of her crazy father and the no less powerful love of her sorrowful mother. These are great American stories that have earned a privileged place in our literature.
When it was first published in 1979, "Black Tickets" immediately established Jayne Anne Phillips as one of the most gifted writers of her generation. It is an astonishing collection of edgy stories that deals with the dreams and passions of young men and women and depicts the desperate loneliness that pervades American life. Resonating with the undeniable power of myth, these tales of initiation and betrayal focus on an extraordinary gallery of characters: a rootless young woman confronts her divorced parents; a fourteen-year-old girl leaves a series of foster homes for the bleak and compelling world of two drug addicts; a mass murderer recites a hypnotic monologue of obsession and alienation. In what has now come to be regarded as a classic of the American short story, Jayne Anne Phillips paints an unforgettable portrait of the men and women who, though stranded on the dark side of the American dream, continue to search for love and redemption.
About the Author
Jayne Anne Phillips was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She is the author of three novels, MotherKind (2000), Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984), and two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship. She has been awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction (1980) and an Academy Award in Literature (1997) by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and has appeared in Granta, Harpers, DoubleTake, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. She is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. Her new novel, Lark and Termite, is forthcoming from Knopf.