Synopses & Reviews
Garnering advance praise from the likes of Ron Carlson, Mark Richard, and Jennifer Egan, Adam Johnson's Emporium marks the debut of a startling new voice in American fiction. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler raves, "Adam Johnson is the most exciting young writer I've ever read. . . . He gives extraordinary fictions that are at once universal and dazzlingly original."
The voices that inhabit Adam Johnson's debut collection are all on intimate terms with loss. Their worlds are dyed by the indigo of loneliness and the invisible ink of abandonment. Yearning for connection, all of these characters seek meaning in landscapes made uncertain by the voids where parents and lovers should be: a father searches a darkened zoo for his troubled son; in a condemned Kmart, a girl bares her bulletproof vest to the aim of her boyfriend's pistol; a physicist pines for an astronaut trapped on the moon. In other stories, a cancer victim controls a satellite, a sniper trains his scope on the girl of his dreams, and a young woman waits for an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent to kick down the doors to her heart. Through thrilling prose and fearless scenes, Johnson shows that Christian power-lifters and depressed robots are no more surreal than fathers who vanish or mothers who waste away.
"Suburban life throbs with paranoid violence in the subtly skewed, futuristic world that Johnson envisions in this nervy debut collection of nine stories, each bristling with inventive energy. Trapped in their high-tech surroundings, his characters are unable to navigate a hazardous social maze, but unsure of how to live outside it....Each of these unusual, skillful stories exhibits a fierce talent, showcasing Johnson's quirky humor and slicing insight." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Adam Johnson is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Paris Review, as well as Best New American Voices. He is currently working on his first novel.