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Omniphobia

Dillard, E.H.W.

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0807118397 / ISBN 13: 9780807118399
Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1995
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Signed. A Near Fine copy in yellow cloth of this story collection, in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by the author at the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 021292

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Omniphobia

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

For R. H. W. Dillard, morbid gravity and exuberant absurdity are all of a piece. Omniphobia is seriously funny stuff, the reversible-wear fiction of a fiery imagination. These four stories and three novellas take place in a twilight zone where we have learned to fear the very things we used to trust, and their characters find themselves spilled onto the slippery slope of flux and change in the deadly fun house we call contemporary reality.
The first of the collection's three sections, "Oh Love Love Love," opens with "The Bog," a novella both touching and uproarious. Cosmo Cotswaldo, Ph.D., undertakes to prove that nature can be entered into and controlled through the will. But when the chilly, humorless feminist Sara Band arrives on the scene, his attempts to manipulate this newly found power unleash the truth of his vulnerability to nature - in its tide of sexual forces, and ultimately in quicksand. The short story "Their Wedding Journey," which follows, is the ill-fated history of a marriage that circles (literally) around a wedding cake.
The second section, "Way Down Yonder," contains a novella and two stories that address the distinct culture of the South while both satirizing and paying tribute to the body of literature that has attempted to define that culture.
The third section, "Walking on Shallow Water," moves into darker and more dangerous territory. "The Death Eater" is the internal monologue of a diner chef who is obsessively repulsed by the killing and eating of animals. So hypnotic is the cadence of his thoughts that the reader almost overlooks the virulence of his actions. The final, title piece of the collection, "Omniphobia," is a novella with four ongoing narratives: an urban omniphobe, a "writer" who has not written in more than ten years; a political prisoner seeking escape, his mental state and movements painstakingly detailed; a punk-rock singer who wrenches his lyrics from his own experiences; and a catalog of phobias, from dread of flowers to omniphobia. It is an apocalyptic tale of fear and death and salvation that links back to the attempts at taking control and making sense described in "The Bog" - attempts that at last subside in a visionary surrender to a larger, vital whole.

About the Author:

R. H. W. Dillard is professor of English and chair of the creative writing program at Hollins College in Virginia.

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