Jim Shepard - The World to Come - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £13.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781786485052
    • Publication date:09 Mar 2017
  • Hardback £16.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781786485045
    • Publication date:13 Jul 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781786485076
    • Publication date:09 Mar 2017

The World to Come

Stories

By Jim Shepard

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

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

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.

Biographical Notes

Jim Shepard is the National Book Award-finalist and highly acclaimed author of seven novels and five collections of stories, including The Book of Aron and Like You'd Understand, Anyway. He lives in Massachusetts with his family and teaches creative writing at the historic liberal arts establishment Williams College. Widely acclaimed as one of the US's finest writers, The World to Come is the first collection of his short stories to be published in the UK.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781786485069
  • Publication date: 26 Jul 2018
  • Page count: 320
  • 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

Inhuman Resources

Pierre Lemaitre
Authors:
Pierre Lemaitre

Alain Delambre is a 57-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment.All he is offered are small, demoralizing jobs. He has reached his very lowest ebb, and can see no way out.So when a major company finally invites him to an interview, Alain Delambre is ready to do anything, borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves hostage-taking.Alain Delambre commits body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity.But if he suddenly realised that the dice had been loaded against him from the start, his fury would be limitless.And what began as a role-play game could quickly become a bloodbath.

Quercus

More Than a Feeling

Cate Woods
Authors:
Cate Woods
MacLehose Press

Lost Empress

Sergio De La Pava
Authors:
Sergio De La Pava

"Ambitious, affecting, intelligent, plangent, comic, kooky and impassioned. I've read a lot of novels this year, between judging the Man Booker prize and the Granta Best of Young British Novelists, and I've yearned for this kind of exuberant, precise fiction" Stuart Kelly, Guardian on A Naked SingularityIt had to be big to put Paterson, New Jersey on the map.And there's folk who would have muttered - if you told them that their unlovable corner of America would be thrust into the spotlight - sign of the end times. Hell, they might even be right.But Nina Gill is determined to do just that. Daughter of the aging owner of the Dallas Cowboys - and the well-kept secret to their success - she is shocked when her brother inherits the team, leaving her with the Paterson Pork, New Jersey's only Indoor Football League franchise. She vows to take on the NFL and make the Paterson Pork pigskin kings of America.Meanwhile, Nuno DeAngeles - a brilliant criminal mastermind - has gotten himself thrown into Rikers Island prison to commit perhaps the most audacious crime of all time. And now he's on the inside, he has two good reasons to get out. But how does a person of colour go about breaking out of the penal system when the whole of the land of the free is addicted to keeping him in it?And, besides - like everyone else - Nuno DeAngeles is running out of . . . time.

MacLehose Press

The Shape of the Ruins

Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Authors:
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
riverrun

All Rivers Run Free

Natasha Carthew
Authors:
Natasha Carthew

'Raw, passionate, hallucinatory. Reading All Rivers Run Free was to be lured by an edgy siren voice of fierce womanhood' Rachel HolmesA woman on the edge of the sea finds a girl on the edge of life. Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall. In years of living with Bran - her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband - she's never yet had her own baby. So when she discovers the waif washed up on the shore, Ia takes the risk and rescues her. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia - bringing back a memory she's lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver.It will take her into the fringes of a society she's shunned, collapsed around its own isolation. It will take her through a valley ravaged by floods, into a world not too far from reckoning. It will take her in search of her sister, and the dark remembrance of their parting. It will take her, break her, remake her, in the shapes of freedom.Natasha Carthew is a startling new voice from beyond the limits of common urban experience. She tells a tale of marginalisation and motherhood in prose that crashes like waves on rocks; rough, breathless and beautiful.

riverrun

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman

'Deft characterisation, buoyant wit and imaginative richness' Evening Standard'Masterful . . . slick, entertaining' Guardian 'Funny poignant, occassionally breathtaking' Financial TimesRome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity ­- challenges the very idea of greatness.

Quercus

The Love Factory

Elaine Proctor
Authors:
Elaine Proctor

You can control want, but desire controls youA smart, sexy, witty novel about love and desire, and how losing everything can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to youAnna is a writer whose small but perfectly formed novels sell zip. When she falls on hard times and tries her hand at erotic fiction, she faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she's a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she's never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother - wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton - knows more than she does about true passion. A romance-writing workshop doesn't help, so Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, Anna discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When Cordelia, a romance-writing classmate, suggests she borrows an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up to Anna and The Love Factory - a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories - is born. And yet Anna knows that she can't rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a proper love of her own.

MacLehose Press

About the Size of the Universe

Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Authors:
Jón Kalman Stefánsson
riverrun

The Secret of Vesalius

Jordi Llobregat
Authors:
Jordi Llobregat

Frankenstein meets The Shadow of the Wind in a Gothic thriller set in the diabolical city of fin-de-siecle Barcelona.Daniel Amat has left Spain and all that happened there behind him. Having just achieved a brilliant role in Ancient Languages at Oxford University and an even more advantageous engagement, the arrival of a letter - a demand - stamped Barcelona comes like a cold hand from behind.He arrives back in that old, labyrinthine and near-mythic city a few days before the great 1888 World Fair, amid dread whispers of murders - the injuries reminiscent of an ancient curse, and bearing signs of the genius 16th century anatomist, Vesalius. Daniel is soon pulled into the depths of the crime, and eventually into the tunnels below Barcelona, where his own dark past and the future of science are joined in a terrible venture - to bring the secret of Vesalius to life.Gothic and gripping, this historical thriller makes of Barcelona a diabolical character - emerging out of the dark into a new electrical age, aflame with spirit, superstition and science. Published in eighteen countries, Jordi Llobregat's bestselling first novel mixes a passionate setting and cryptic mystery into a genre-crossing phenomenon.

riverrun

Histories

Sam Guglani
Authors:
Sam Guglani
riverrun

Basket of Deplorables

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman
Quercus

The Night Visitor

Lucy Atkins
Authors:
Lucy Atkins
MacLehose Press

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli
Authors:
Muhsin Al-Ramli

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting". Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ. On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.Translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren

Quercus

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Joanna Bolouri
Authors:
Joanna Bolouri
Quercus

The Christmas Guest

Daisy Bell
Authors:
Daisy Bell
Quercus

Just Haven't Met You Yet

Cate Woods
Authors:
Cate Woods

The laugh-out loud romcom with A DELICIOUS THE TWIST! Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jenny Oliver. Percy James thinks she's found The One. But when she's approached by a dating agency - one that promises to find your soulmate using science and phone data - she finds herself tentatively saying yes, partly out of curiosity, partly out of the fact that her life has been feeling ... well, stale, recently. But she never expected what happened next...! Cate Wood's second novel MORE THAN A FEELING is available to preorder today!

Quercus

The Watchers

Neil Spring
Authors:
Neil Spring
riverrun

The Book of Aron

Jim Shepard
Authors:
Jim Shepard
Quercus

Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be

Anna Bell
Authors:
Anna Bell

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Joanna Bolouri.Things are looking up for Penny. Her business, Princess on a Shoestring, is thriving. That is, until a rival planner decides to take her down-one hard-won bride at a time. Now Penny must fight to save her reputation and her livelihood before it's too late. But when a romantic weekend away has some unexpected consequences, Penny's expectations for her career are brought back down to earth with a bump...From the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart, here's what readers are saying about Anna Bell: 'Romantic and refreshing' Mhairi McFarlane 'Best read in a long time!' Amazon reviewer 'A fun, bouncy, brilliant tale' Heat

riverrun

Boys and Girls

Joseph Connolly
Authors:
Joseph Connolly