David Means The Secret Goldfish: Stories

ISBN 13: 9780007164905

The Secret Goldfish: Stories

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9780007164905: The Secret Goldfish: Stories
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Readers familiar with David Means' electrifying work in the Los Angeles Times Book Prize -- winning Assorted Fire Eventswill recognize his extraordinary vision in The Secret Goldfish. A trio of erotically charged kids goes on a crime spree in Michigan; a goldfish bears witness to the demise of a Connecticut marriage; and an extremely unlucky man is stalked by lightning. This dazzling new collection reveals Means' rare talent for the short story and establishes his place among the American masters.

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About the Author:

David Means is the author of A Quick Kiss of Redemption and The Secret Goldfish. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Short Stories. He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.

From Publishers Weekly:

The characters in this imaginative and penetrating story collection—a man hounded by lightning strikes, a driver blown off the Mackinac bridge, a pianist whose fingers stop working, a woman who slaughters her boyfriend after ambiguous consultations with Jesus and the devil, a bog man roused from his shallow grave—are beset by bolts from the blue. Sometimes the victims and sometimes the perpetrators of calamity, they struggle to extract meaning—and the occasional glimpses of grace and beauty—from the chaos and brutality that disrupt their lives. Means, author of the acclaimed story collection Assorted Fire Events, probes a broad range of social registers, from junkies and criminals festering in the postindustrial decay of northern Michigan's iron range to the chilly adulteries of the artsy New York haute bourgeoisie, linking them into a bleak, sometimes apocalyptic panorama of the precariousness of life in a country that "could eat anything, absolutely anything, up." His uncompromising vision rarely indulges anything more comforting than harsh poetic epiphanies, inexplicable moments of clarity gleaned from random encounters with destruction; the story "Michigan Death Trip," a litany of demise from nonnatural causes, is emblematic of the book's sensibility. But every so often, as with the titular goldfish who endures, and even prevails, when his tank is neglected by a family in the throes of divorce, a happy ending slips through.
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