Jungle Wedding

Overview

Few writers of fiction have demonstrated so early in their career such a firm grasp of the forms disaster can take as Joseph Clark does in Jungle Wedding. Fewer still have been able to balance their unnerving feeling for apocalypse with an equally unerring sense of the possibilities for grace and transcendence, however provisional.

In the title story a cutting-edge video artist is hired to document a shamanistic New Age wedding ceremony deep in the Central American jungle — and ...

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Overview

Few writers of fiction have demonstrated so early in their career such a firm grasp of the forms disaster can take as Joseph Clark does in Jungle Wedding. Fewer still have been able to balance their unnerving feeling for apocalypse with an equally unerring sense of the possibilities for grace and transcendence, however provisional.

In the title story a cutting-edge video artist is hired to document a shamanistic New Age wedding ceremony deep in the Central American jungle — and gets far more than he bargained for. In "Public Burning" a sociological experiment in the study and surveillance of an "average" American spirals down into a literally incendiary conclusion. "Wild Blue" is a tour de force narrative of one man's collision with the scarily dysfunctional American armed forces of the 1970s.

Other stories in Jungle Wedding hold out possibilities for communion, reconciliation, and absolution. In "Revenge" emotional rescue for a psychologically besieged divorcée arrives in the form of a clearly too-young lust object, while "Oasis" stages a haunting father-daughter reunion in terrain reminiscent of a Sam Shepard play. Whatever his subject, Clark stakes out his territory with an imaginative authority and vigor of language that is truly exciting.

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Editorial Reviews

William Cobb
It's as if the stories were preachy documentaries on the vanities of ridiculous American, yet somehow they convey a nagging sense of hypocrisy.
New York Times Book Review
William Cobb
It's as if the stories were preachy documentaries on the vanities of ridiculous American, yet somehow they convey a nagging sense of hypocrisy. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Thirteen stories about strange goings-on from the depths of the jungle to the house next door, serve as a hip but not particularly hypnotic debut collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393341904
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Clark lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the poet Aliki Barnstone. A graduate of Bennington College, Clark has published stories in Story, GQ, Playboy, and Zoetrope.
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Table of Contents

Jungle Wedding 13
Frazzle 35
K2 47
Public Burning 63
At Last, the Ark 87
Random Access 99
Mammals 117
Oasis 125
The Lotus-Eater 133
Revenge 149
Spin-Off 167
Wild Blue 185
Beltway Dostoyevsky 207
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