Evenson (The Open Curtain) accesses dark, unusual facets of human frailty, powerlessness and fear in this collection, haunted by themes of amnesia, aphasia and creeping infirmity. Hecker, the protagonist of O'Henry Prize-winner "Mudder Tongue," can't control which words he says and is incapable of expressing even the nature of the problem to his daughter, who thinks he just needs to get out more. A similar terror informs the title story, in which a plague of amnesia afflicts the area where Arnaud lives. The stricken forget their own names, bleed from the eyes and mouth, then lapse into unconsciousness and death. Arnaud catches the illness, and as he makes his way through a landscape of quarantined apartments, looters and corpses, he interacts with the dead and soon-to-be-dead in an effort to try to remember what he is trying to accomplish. Other ailments make cameos-blindness in "Helpful," insomnia in "Dread"-and the thematic anxiety is heightened by graphic novelist Sally's foreboding black and white line illustrations. This intense, nightmarish collection captures the fear of night terrors, when one wakes in the middle of the night, unable to move. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nineteen chilling tales of the terror that lurks within.
“Brian Evenson is one of my favorite writers. The stories in this collection will thrill, unsettle, and captivate. Like lanterns in dark rooms, paper boats carried down on subterranean waters, they lead the reader into mysterious and perilous territory. Read at your own risk.” Kelly Link
“Brian Evenson is the Donald Barthelme of psychological horror.” Los Angeles Times
“Evenson accesses dark, unusual facets of human frailty, powerlessness and fear. . . . This intense, nightmarish collection captures the fear of night terrors, when one wakes in the middle of the night, unable to move.” Publishers Weekly
“The specific genius of Fugue State rests in subtlety, in Evenson’s ability to maintain suspense, dread and paranoia through utter linguistic control.” Time Out New York (five stars)
“[Fugue State] brings us into contact with thinking itself, with a sense of terror that seems to multiply plainly, and with the most difficult kinds of truth.”The Believer, “5×5: Brian Evenson”
“Laughter can be an effective tool of the horror writer, and Evenson is its finest practitioner.” Time Out Chicago
“These 19 satisfying and surreal stories plumb the psyches of murderers, paranoids, frightened children, bitter ex-husbands, religious zealots in post-apocalyptic worlds and people whose fleeting sanity will be gone by story’s end. Evenson takes even his most fanciful characters seriously even as he partakes of gallows humor; this book is as packed with subtly hilarious sentences as haunting images.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer
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Meet the Author
Praised by Peter Straub for going "furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice," Brian Evenson is the author of eight previous books of fiction, including the Edgar Award-nominated novel The Open Curtain and the International Horror Guild Award-winning collection, The Wavering Knife. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island where he directs Brown University's Literary Arts Program. Zak Sally is the author of the graphic novel, Recidivist, nominated for two Eisner Awards and named one of SPIN magazine's "favorite things." He is also the author of Fantagraphic Books's Sammy the Mouse series, the former bassist of the band Low, and the publisher of La Mano press in Minneapolis.
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