Family Terrorists

Overview

In the dazzling novella that gives this collection its title, a fractured family gathers for an odd reunion. Six years after their divorce and forty years after their first wedding, the parents of the four grown Link children are remarrying. Lynnie Link, the youngest sibling, travels with her wastrel brother to Montana for the event, and in the family's gathering their essential fragility becomes all too apparent. "Family terrorism" is the tactic that undermines them - those small acts of emotional blackmail that...
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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- 1" long DJ front flap crease, o.w. clean, bright & tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. SIGNED by Author on Title Page Price unclipped. ISBN ... 0395686792 A novella and seven short stories. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the dazzling novella that gives this collection its title, a fractured family gathers for an odd reunion. Six years after their divorce and forty years after their first wedding, the parents of the four grown Link children are remarrying. Lynnie Link, the youngest sibling, travels with her wastrel brother to Montana for the event, and in the family's gathering their essential fragility becomes all too apparent. "Family terrorism" is the tactic that undermines them - those small acts of emotional blackmail that keep old antagonisms alive. Its consequences are sometimes poignant, often hilarious, always devastating. With its vibrant prose and deft insight, the novella displays the full range of Antonya Nelson's remarkable talent. It caps a collection that also includes seven superb short stories, each a variation on the theme of family terrorism. Three of the stories have appeared in The New Yorker; one of these, "Naked Ladies," was included in The Best American Short Stories 1993, and another, "Dirty Words," appeared in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards the same year. All of them offer vivid evidence of Antonya Nelson's generous, rapidly maturing gift.

In the dazzling novella that gives this collection its title, a fractured family gathers for an unlikely reunion. Small acts of emotional blackmail keep old antagonisms alive. The novella caps seven superb short stories, each a variation on the theme of "family terrorism."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While some may regard family ties as a safety net, and others see them as an entangling web, it's not an either/or proposition for the families in Nelson's third collection, consisting of seven stories and a novella. With clarity and compassion, the author portrays the family as both familiar yet foreign, essential yet suffocating. What brings these pieces to vibrant life is Nelson's ability to make every incident provoke ``feelings . . . that run the gamut in a matter of seconds,'' as Lynnie Link says in the title work. Confused about her parents' decision to remarry after being divorced, Lynnie nonetheless journeys from Texas to Montana for the wedding, picking up her brother en route. Her reactions to him, her sisters and parents are a mixture of love, annoyance and ambivalence--as theirs are to Lynnie--in this clan that terrorize each other with both the best and the worst intentions. The strongest stories here are those in which no one can be safely pigeonholed. A few less compelling and less convincing entries (``Naked Ladies''; ``Crybaby'') lack density and cumulative power. For, as Nelson powerfully demonstrates in her best work, the essence of being alive is to experience many contradictory feelings at once, especially about those closest to us. (Apr.)
Rabkin
"Finely crafted...through Nelson's prose and characters a lesson in the realities of relationships unfolds." -- The Chicago Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395686799
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and is the award-winning author of three novels and four short story collections. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Best American Short Stories. She divides her time among Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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