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Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events: Stories
     

Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events: Stories

by Kevin Moffett
 

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A dazzling new story collection from brilliant, young, award-winning writer Kevin Moffett, Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events illuminates the intimate experiences of characters caught between aspiration and achievement, uncertainty and illumination, inertia and discovery, the past and the future. Channeling unexpected, eclectic voices in a

Overview

A dazzling new story collection from brilliant, young, award-winning writer Kevin Moffett, Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events illuminates the intimate experiences of characters caught between aspiration and achievement, uncertainty and illumination, inertia and discovery, the past and the future. Channeling unexpected, eclectic voices in a collection perfectly suited to readers of Daniyal Mueenuddin, Alice Sebold, and Dave Eggers, Moffett delivers a nuanced, powerful, humorous, and moving meditation on the trials of transitions and liminal living in today’s modern world. Richard Russo says, “the first thing you notice reading the stories in Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events is the author’s extraordinary range—of expertise, technique, imagination and wit. There doesn’t seem to be much Kevin Moffett can’t do.”

Editorial Reviews

Vanity Fair
“Marvelous stories.”
The Rumpus
“One of the most delightful collections in recent memory. . . . It’s rare to see as bright a star as Moffett on the literary scene. With this lovely collection, he is one to watch.”
Chris Adrian
“These stories are as enormously funny as they are enormously sad. Moffett deals in wisdom, humor, and sympathy with extraordinary fluency; the results are always as unsettling as they are reassuring. And this seems to me about as close as you can come to writing the truth about life.”
Richard Russo
“The first thing you notice reading the stories in Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events is the author’s extraordinary range—of expertise, technique, imagination and wit. There doesn’t seem to be much Kevin Moffett can’t do.”
Sam Lipsyte
“Kevin Moffett’s stories are stealth heartbreakers, as well as wonders of sly detail and perfect tone. He’s writing some of the best short fiction around.”
Alice Sebold
“Humor is too often heartless, sheer cleverness lacking content. Kevin Moffett is a member of that delightful minority that takes up the ordinary to reveal the extraordinary. These stories are funny, insightful, and reveal, but never strive for, true depth.”
Library Journal
In the title piece of this fine new collection by Moffett (Permanent Visitors), a young writer who specializes in stories about fathers and sons is forced to reassess all of the assumptions he's made about his past when his father begins writing stories that cover much the same territory. "In the Pines" features an old woman recently moved unwillingly to a retirement home at the edge of a battlefield who is visited by a Civil War reenactor—or is he a projection of her own imagination? "English Made Easy" deals with a young widow's anguish as she attempts to deal with the aftermath of her husband's unexpected death. "First Marriage" is about newlyweds driving a car to Florida who become stuck in the Arizona desert after an unknown animal dies in the vents. VERDICT If there's an overarching theme here, it's about the ways in which people in a state of transition struggle to find themselves in a changed world. Moffett's stories brilliantly capture the uncertainty and emotional precariousness of those moments of becoming; for fans of his fiction and the short story form.—Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, North Andover, MA
Publishers Weekly
Moffett’s prize-winning (the Nelson Algren, the Pushcart, the 2010 National Magazine Award for this collection’s title story) short stories have been extensively and prestigiously published, and it’s easy to see why: Moffett’s work is melancholy and funny at the same time, with an uncanny knack for giving weighty topics (death especially, either imminent, remembered, or inevitable) a weightlessness that manages to make them graver rather than lighter. The best pieces, like the title story, about fathers and sons both biological and symbolic, touch on writing and memory and death. “One Dog Year” has John D. Rockefeller both too old to die and already dead and almost making it sky-ward; he believes that “Birth is a dream, spontaneous and innate” and death, “a slow, false, divine calamity.” Language soars in unexpected directions: “On the brink of time, when he stands at last, he sings.” And strange happenings make perfect sense as people do what they have to do to metabolize grief and its bubbly sidekick, love. When Moffett’s not at his best he gets stuck in strange mode, but it hardly matters when so many are so good. This collection will leave readers grateful to have encountered characters who are as odd as they are, as sad as they may be, and as stupidly hopeful. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062069221
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
673,487
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are Saying About This

Sam Lipsyte
“Kevin Moffett’s stories are stealth heartbreakers, as well as wonders of sly detail and perfect tone. He’s writing some of the best short fiction around.”
Chris Adrian
“These stories are as enormously funny as they are enormously sad. Moffett deals in wisdom, humor, and sympathy with extraordinary fluency; the results are always as unsettling as they are reassuring. And this seems to me about as close as you can come to writing the truth about life.”
Alice Sebold
“Humor is too often heartless, sheer cleverness lacking content. Kevin Moffett is a member of that delightful minority that takes up the ordinary to reveal the extraordinary. These stories are funny, insightful, and reveal, but never strive for, true depth.”
Richard Russo
“The first thing you notice reading the stories in Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events is the author’s extraordinary range—of expertise, technique, imagination and wit. There doesn’t seem to be much Kevin Moffett can’t do.”

Meet the Author

Kevin Moffett's stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Tin House, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere, as well as in three editions of The Best American Short Stories. He is the winner of the Nelson Algren Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the 2010 National Magazine Award for the title story. He lives in Claremont, California.

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