Love, parenthood, friendship - works of fiction often celebrate the near-sacred connections that bind people together. But what about the times when these ties become tenuous and warped, or crumble away completely? What if your child is a furry ...
feral creature, your new love interest a potential serial killer (or worse, a fictitious cliche), or your co-workers so jaded and dry they can barely speak above a whisper? What happens when your baby never smiles or your head and body have decided to go their separate ways? In "The Odious Child", her first collection of short stories, Carolyn Black conceives of multiple situations, both believable and fantastic, in which adeptly written characters attempt to channel their powerful, desperate yearning for fulfillment within the intricate labyrinths of social interaction. With a refreshingly clear style and brilliantly subtle wit, Black manages to imaginatively portray the essence of frustration and loneliness without losing perspective or succumbing to despair. In accordance with this pragmatic approach, her stories never end with an artificially tidy sense of resolution - instead, she chooses to open her characters' lives to the possibility of further expansion.
Number of pages: 200
Date of publication: 01/03/2011
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