There is no one writing like Ben Marcus and this book of devastating stories is so darkly weird, so sentence-drivenly spectacular, and so otherworldly while still being recognizably in our world. Notes From the Fog is funny, perverse, and maybe Marcus's best book in an influential writing career. Recommended By Kevin S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Thirteen transfixing new stories from one of the most innovative writers of his generation and one of the most vital and original voices of our time — for fans of George Saunders, Nathan Englander, and Elizabeth Strout.
In these thirteen ingenious stories, Ben Marcus reveals moments of redemption in the sometimes nightmarish modern world. In "The Grow-Light Blues," a hapless, corporate drone finds love after being disfigured testing his employer's newest nutrition supplement — the enhanced glow from his computer monitor. In the chilling "Cold Little Bird," a father finds himself alienated from his family when he starts to suspect that his son's precocity has turned sinister. "The Boys" follows a sister who descends into an affair with her recently widowed brother-in-law. In "Blueprints for St. Louis," two architects in a flailing marriage consider the ethics of adding a mist that artificially incites emotion in mourners to their latest assignment, a memorial to a terrorist attack.
A heartbreaking collection of stories that showcases the author's compassion, tenderness, and mordant humor — blistering, beautiful work from a modern master.
"Beautiful, heartbreaking, impeccably crafted and original meditations on, and figurations of, how it feels to be a human, a father, an American, at the hither edge of the 21st century." Michael Chabon
"To read Ben Marcus is to discover a new language, trapped inside of the old one. Sentences that cut through every layer straight to the heart of the matter. Writing that startles you into wakefulness. You know all these words but have never seen them used like this before. To read Ben Marcus is to be challenged and entertained and inspired all at once." Charles Yu
"Exceptional... Each story is quietly eerie with electric characters who move through settings that look and sound exactly like our reality but are subtly disoriented, as if in a trick mirror." The Paris Review
About the Author
Ben Marcus is the author of four books of fiction — The Age of Wire and String, Notable American Women, The Flame Alphabet, and Leaving the Sea — and is the editor of two short story anthologies: The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and New American Stories. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Granta, Harper's, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, The Believer, The New York Times, and Tablet. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, and three Pushcart Prizes. He lives with his family in New York City, where he is on the faculty at Columbia University.