Jim Shepard - The World to Come - Quercus

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    • ISBN:9781786485045
    • Publication date:13 Jul 2017
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    • Publication date:26 Jul 2018
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    • ISBN:9781786485076
    • Publication date:09 Mar 2017

The World to Come

Stories

By Jim Shepard

  • Paperback
  • £13.99

The first collection of short stories by Jim Shepard - widely regarded to be one of the best living short story writers in America - to be published in the UK, ANZ and territories

A fantastic writer - compassionate, funny and fearless' George Saunders

'One of the US's finest writers' according to Joshua Ferris, Jim Shepard now delivers a new collection that spans borders and centuries with unrivalled mastery.

These ten stories ring with voices as diverse as those belonging to Arctic explorers in history's most nightmarish expedition, the Montgolfier brothers competing to be the first man to fly, and two American frontierswomen whose passionate connection is severed by jealous husbands and a deadly snowstorm.

In each case the personal is the political as these humans, while falling in love or negotiating marital pitfalls or simply coming to terms with their own failings, face the tidal wave of nature's indifference and cruelty. History has swept them from our sympathy; Jim Shepard has reached into the past and sought them out.

In his first collection to be published in the UK, this celebrated master of the short story displays his formidable acuity in imagining these wildly different worlds, and what our various lives feel like in the grip of catastrophe.

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  • ISBN: 9781786485052
  • Publication date: 09 Mar 2017
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: riverrun
A fantastic writer - compassionate, funny and fearless . . . inspires us to look more closely at life, and be more caring — George Saunders
What is so impressive is how Shepard extrapolates what's constant about the human condition . . . The result is as warm as it is devastating, and somehow exorcises existential terror . . . Shepard's characters may not endure, but his prose will. — Jamie Fisher, Times Literary Supplement
Scrupulously researched and sumptuous in detail . . . This collection delivers that beguiling dichotomy of what we understand from history - the pointlessness of our experiences in the cosmos - yet the universality of our most intimate experiences: our crises of conscience, our secret desires, our fragility. — Ruth McKee, Irish Times
Remarkable for their sheer range . . . Everything he writes is enriched by an underlying magnanimity. — Phil Baker, Sunday Times
In ten meticulously researched stories, Shepard elegantly places the emotional dilemmas of morose, melancholy, misunderstood characters against backdrops that emphasise the vastness of the world and the smallness of their hopes and dreams . . . Wonderful — Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

Retelling 'real' stories is Shepard's forte. He is a dramatist with a reporter's dispassion. The measured tone is pitch
perfect. There is no sense of sensationalism, no over-emoting, no embellishment. He lets his facts do the talking and in several of the stories in The World to Come the effect is devastating and affecting . . . He is a terrific writer whose arrival on these shores is long overdue.

— Alan Taylor, Glasgow Herald
Greedier writers would spin entire novels out of just one of the richly weird, hilariously bizarre premises that distinguish a Jim Shepard story. His stories can be set in any corner of the world, at any era in time, and there is no oddment or calamity of the human experience Shepard does not find fascinating. His stories are droll, action packed, ingenious and finally moving. — Colin Barrett
An outrageously versatile and gifted fiction writer, Shepard continues his original, precise exploration of times and places long ago and far, far away . . . Shepard's project is always to push toward that sense of wonder and the 'high hopefulness' of purpose that ordinary people have always brought to the project of living - to give us through fiction a sense of profound empathy that the historical record alone cannot. He most stunningly succeeds — Washington Post
Like Alice Munro, Shepard has a knack for compressing a novel's worth of life into thirty or forty pages . . . It all adds up to a peculiar yet arresting vision, as Shepard lets you see a startling variety of dangers and conundrums through the eyes of characters who, poignantly or even despairingly, can't quite summon the humanity that's hidden away in them — Boston Globe
This is what you get with Shepard's short stories - weight and validity, lingo and precision . . . This approach gives the individual stories heft and the collections a dizzying range . . . What impresses is his ability to convey compressed, cinematic action. He knows when to pop rivets and bend structures, add histrionics as well as saltwater stocism . . . Shepard's beautifully researched creations inhabit different eras — New York Times
Ten exceptionally powerful tales of courageous responsibility and criminal indifference . . . Throughout this masterful, profoundly involving collection, Shepard elucidates with stirring precision the emotions of characters ambushed by terrifying powers beyond their control — Booklist
Let's hope Jim Shepard becomes as influential as he should be. He's the best we've got — Dave Eggers
His insight is humbling, deeply grained, outrageously perceptive and full of a signature humour . . . If you haven't read Shepard, you should, because he's also one of the US's finest writers, full of wit, humanity and fearless curiosity . . . It's a hell of a thing to walk the earth with Jim Shepard — Joshua Ferris, Guardian
[An] American master — O, the Oprah Magazine
MacLehose Press

The Last Days of El Comandante

Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Authors:
Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Venezuela 2012: The President's illness casts a shadow over the lives of his citizens - he divides opinion, but life without him is almost unimaginable. Miguel Sanabria is a retired oncologist, ambivalent towards the President but caught between a virulently anti-Chávez wife and a equally vehement pro-Chávez brother. He is asked by his nephew to hide a mobile phone carrying secret footage that could shed new light on the President's condition.His neighbour Fredy has found a fresh angle for a new book about Chávez, but to take advantage he must agree to a "green-card" marriage and leave his girlfriend and their son for two months, even as their landlady plots to repossess their home.In another apartment live nine-year-old María and her neurotic, near-agoraphobic mother. Taken out of school to be educated at home, María turns to internet chat rooms for company, while her mother's fears about the city's endemic violence are proved tragically prescient.The fates and fortunes of these neighbours will prove inextricably entwined as the hour of the President's death draws ever closer.REVIEWS FOR THE SICKNESS"A great book" Michael Morpurgo"Powerful themes and powerful writing" Susan HillTranslated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

MacLehose Press

The Archipelago of Another Life

Andreï Makine
Authors:
Andreï Makine

On the far eastern borders of the Soviet Union, in the sunset of Stalin's reign, soldiers are training for a war that could end all wars, for in the atomic age man has sown the seeds of his own destruction. Among them is Pavel Gartsev, a reservist. Orphaned, scarred by the last great war and unlucky in love, he is an instant victim for the apparatchiks and ambitious careerists who thrive within the Red Army's ranks. Assigned to a search party composed of regulars and reservists, charged with the recapture of an escaped prisoner from a nearby gulag, Gartsev finds himself one of an unlikely quintet of cynics, sadists and heroes, embarked on a challenging manhunt through the Siberian taiga. But the fugitive, capable, cunning and evidently at home in the depths of these vast forests, proves no easy prey. As the pursuit goes on, and the pursuers are struck by a shattering discovery, Gartsev confronts both the worst within himself and the tantalising prospect of another, totally different life.Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan

riverrun

The Paper Wasp

Lauren Acampora
Authors:
Lauren Acampora

'Acampora is an original' Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big CityAn electrifying debut novel of two women's friendship, a haunting obsession and twisted ambition, set against the feverish backdrop of contemporary Hollywood.Abby Graven is a dreamer. She dreams her way through her small, lonely life - hiding back at her parents, working at the grocery store. At night, she collects tabloid clippings that taunt her with Elise - her best friend, now Hollywood's hot new starlet.When a school reunion throws Elise in her path, Abby seizes her chance. With feverish certainty, she boards a one-way flight to LA to become Elise's assistant and enters her gauzy realm of film sets and glamorous actors.But behind Elise's glossy magazine veneer, she is drowning in Hollywood's vicious social cycle. Ever the devoted friend, Abby conceals her own burning desire for greatness. For she is smarter than Elise. More talented. A true artist. And as she edges closer to her own ambitions, Abby can see only one way to make her dream come true.Propelled by seductive, unstoppable force, The Paper Wasp slashes through the dark side of Hollywood and the treacherous intimacies of female friendship, pursuing a heroine of blazing artistic vision and blinding drive.

Quercus

The Book of Wonders

Julien Sandrel
Authors:
Julien Sandrel

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riverrun

Ward No. 6 and Other Stories (riverrun editions)

Anton Chekhov
Authors:
Anton Chekhov
MacLehose Press

The Carrier

Mattias Berg
Authors:
Mattias Berg

The man with the nuclear briefcase has gone rogue - Mission Impossible meets the Hunt for Red October "I don't think I have read such a philosophical, knowledge-studded and realistic adventure novel since Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose" Göteborgs-PostenErasmus Levine has a job like no other He travels with the President of the United States at all times, and holds in his hands the power to obliterate life as we know it. He is the man with the nuclear briefcase, part of a crack team of top-secret operatives established after 9/11, led by a man codenamed Edelweiss. But not even Edelweiss is party to the identity of their ultimate authority, known only as Alpha.Erasmus Levine has a secretFor years he has been receiving cryptic messages from Alpha, an elaborate communication that began with the words we two against the world. Levine begins thinking of escape: his chance comes during an official visit to Sweden, when the alarm sounds in Stockholm's Grand Hotel.But Alpha has other plansFrom their first meeting in a network of tunnels and bunkers beneath the city, Levine is drawn into a plan to eliminate the world's nuclear arsenals. But is controlled demolition really the endgame? Could he be working towards a controlled apocalypse, a doomsday plot to wipe humanity from the face of the earth?Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding

Quercus

The Lost Son

Prue Leith
Authors:
Prue Leith

The Angelotti family reels when the lost son, given up for adoption in the war, traces his birth family and returns to the fold, with devastating consequences. As poverty-stricken newlyweds, Laura and Giovanni Angelotti were forced to put their first child - a boy - up for adoption. They have had other children since, and their first little Italian cafe has become a restaurant empire, but Laura is still haunted by thoughts of the baby she lost.Tom is a successful businessman enjoying the fast-paced City lifestyle - until his best friend and business partner is killed in the 9/11 attacks and his world turns upside down. Searching for meaning in his life, he decides to track down his birth family: the Angelottis.But Laura has been keeping an explosive secret about Tom's parentage that means his reappearance in her life is bittersweet. She may have found her son, but will it be at the cost of everything it has taken her fifty years to build?

Jo Fletcher Books

Hearts of Ice

David Hair
Authors:
David Hair

Summer is gone, and the world is turning to ice.The Rondian Empress Lyra has lost her husband, her army is defeated and the deadly Masked Cabal have seized the Holy City. Her allies have abandoned her and her empire is spiralling into chaos - and her only weapon is a forbidden magic she dare not use. She can't survive alone - but who can she still trust?'Vibrant, memorable characters' - SciFi NowThe Eastern conqueror Sultan Rashid is victorious on the battlefield, but now he faces an enemy more deadly than Rondian knights: the winter. Unless he captures a major city to shelter his huge armies, his plans to overthrow the West face ruin in the snow. But standing between his men and safety is the remnants of a defeated army led by a general who knows all about fighting for survival.'An epic journey of ordinary people destined to change the course of history . . . alluring . . . gripping' - BoHoMind.comThere are no easy options left. Lyra and her fellow dwymancers must master their deadly magic, whatever the cost. Even those who believe themselves to be fighting for good must grasp the reins of power with cold-hearted determination, and use even the most terrible weapon, if they are to stop the world from falling apart . . . for ever.

riverrun

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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Authors:
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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riverrun

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Elizabeth Lowry
Authors:
Elizabeth Lowry
riverrun

Astroturf

Matthew Sperling
Authors:
Matthew Sperling
riverrun

Testament

Kim Sherwood
Authors:
Kim Sherwood

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Jo Fletcher Books

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Mats Strandberg
Authors:
Mats Strandberg

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MacLehose Press

Vernon Subutex Two

Virginie Despentes
Authors:
Virginie Despentes

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Quercus

An Ocean of Minutes

Thea Lim
Authors:
Thea Lim

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riverrun

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Thomas Bourke
Authors:
Thomas Bourke
MacLehose Press

All the Lives We Never Lived

Anuradha Roy
Authors:
Anuradha Roy

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MacLehose Press

Lost Empress

Sergio De La Pava
Authors:
Sergio De La Pava
MacLehose Press

The Shape of the Ruins

Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Authors:
Juan Gabriel Vásquez

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MacLehose Press

The Time in Between

Marcello Fois
Authors:
Marcello Fois