Synopses & Reviews
"Critically acclaimed in Australia, Kennedy made her first stateside splash last year in the New Yorker and now follows that up with this revelatory collection. Set mostly in unnamed Australian locales, the stories are particularly concerned with the plight of women in social arenas where they're expected to be less than stellar, often for the sake of male egos. 'Seizure' chronicles a woman realizing her live-in boyfriend's emotional selfishness after she witnesses a kind stranger aid an epileptic man. 'Wheelbarrow Thief' focuses on a beautiful, intelligent publicist who is reduced to a dinner party accessory by her professor boyfriend. And 'The Testosterone Club' is a delicious revenge fantasy spearheaded by a wife who has had enough of her husband choosing his buddies over her. Other highlights include 'Angel,' in which a Vietnamese refugee dissects alienation in Australia while striving to take care of a child. The title story is a vivid dissection of the inner turmoil of a 39-year-old woman dating a 26-year-old-man. And the pice de rsistance? That would be 'Soundtrack,' an inspired, sublime take on family. Kennedy's prose walks the line between sparse and lush, and she trusts that her readers welcome well-articulated ideas balanced with reassuring doses of mystery." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A collection of prize-winning stories by The New Yorkerdebuted Australian that is by turns funny, wise, and achingly sad” (Stephanie Bishop, Sydney Morning Herald). Australian Cate Kennedy delivers a mesmerizing story collection that travels to the deepest depths of the human psyche. In these sublimely sophisticated and compulsively readable tales, Kennedy opens up worlds of finely observed detail to explore the collision between simmering inner lives and the cold outside world. Her stories are populated by people on the brink: a woman floundering with her own loss and emotional immobility as her lover lies in a coma; a neglected wife who cannot convince her husband of the truth about his two shamelessly libidinous friends; or a married woman realizes that her too-tight wedding ring isnt the only thing thats stuck in her relationship. Each character must make a choice and none is without consequenceeven the smallest decisions have the power to destroy or renew, to recover and relinquish. Devastating, evocative, and richly comic, Dark Roots deftly unveils the traumas that incite us to desperate measures and the coincidences that drive our lives. This arresting collection introduces a new master of the short story.