In the Valley of the Kings: Stories

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9780393339086: In the Valley of the Kings: Stories
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"One of the finest American writers alive . . . he is Melville + Poe + Borges but with a heart far more capacious."―Junot Díaz

Praised for his "beautifully crafted and strangely surreal" (Peter Matthiessen) stories, Terrence Holt had been operating under the literary radar for more than fifteen years, placing award-winning stories in such noted journals as Zoetrope, Kenyon Review, and TriQuarterly. With the release of this debut collection, Holt's work takes its "rightful place besides those works of genius―fiction, philosophy, theology―unafraid of axing into our iced hearts" (William Giraldi, New York Times Book Review). Whether chronicling a plague that ravages a New England town or the anguish of a son who keeps his father's beating heart in a jar, Holt's stories oscillate between the rational and the surreal, the future and the past, masterfully weaving together reality and myth. Like Poe or Hawthorne, "Holt is a gifted wordsmith, his sentences carefully shaped and often beautiful, and he spins these ancient, irresolvable dilemmas in an elegiac poetry" (Los Angeles Times).

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Praise for In the Valley of the Kings"Holt is my favorite writer. There is no one in the wide sea of English who writes like him, no one so profoundly, mysteriously, so searingly human, and so implacably apocalyptic. He is Melville + Poe +Borges but with a heart far more capacious. He seems to have leapt out of nowhere, massive, familiar, strange, and he never fails to blow my mind."-Junot Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, from Bookforum"Terrence Holt's prose is deeply original, evocative, transforming. I have never seen anything quite like it before. Though what I'm praising is not words, nor is it narrative, but something that is a compound of language, story, feeling, and knowledge-and something else. Something beyond his learning as a physician, at once metaphysical and physical, mysterious and terrifying, but not indulgent. Even undecipherable. He is amazing."-Gerald Stern, winner of the National Book Award for This Time"Like the tales of Poe and Hawthorne, these stories are claustral, eerie, and entirely exhilarating."-Michael Gorra, Smith College"In The Valley of the Kings is a work of terrific intelligence and terrifying imagination."-Aleksandar Hemon, finalist for the National Book Award for The Lazarus Project"Rare wonderful stories, beautifully crafted and strangely surreal without being merely cerebral - a very fine first book."-Peter Matthiessen, winner of the National Book Award for Shadow Country

About the Author:

Terrence Holt is a writer and an internist specializing in geriatric medicine, teaching and practicing at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

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