Life-Likeby Toby Litt
Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt’s most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes first aired in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and/i>/i>/i>/i>/i>… See more details below
Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt’s most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes first aired in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and atomizing worldwith stories set in India, Sweden, Australia, and Iranthat also looks at how we meet and fail to meet and what connects us to one another, as well as waste and communication, and, in turn, communication through waste.
The twenty-six stories begin with Paddy and Agatha, an English couple last seen in Litt’s Ghost Story. Following the stillbirth of their second child, their marriage has gently begun to collapse. Paddy and Agatha both meet someone else. First, Paddy meets Kavita, and Agatha meets John. Then each of these four engages with a different new personand so on, through a doubling and redoubling of intimately interconnected stories. The remaining short stories exemplify Litt’s impressive, unflinching prose.
The clever stories in this linked collection begin with Paddy and Agatha, a couple of young Brit sophisticates, and branch out in all directions to include an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and acquaintances. Paddy and Agatha, parents of a young son, are still grieving the loss of their stillborn daughter. Agatha heads off to Devon on a writing course, where she has a one-night stand with her instructor, whose own hectic love life is also chronicled here. Paddy, meanwhile, attends an academic conference in Hull, where he meets and lusts after the beautiful Kavita. After developing breast cancer, Kavita goes home to Mumbai for treatment (where the story of her doctor briefly figures in). Paddy also lusts after the Czech au pair, Veronika, who departs for Prague for the engagement party of her sister to a man Veronika loathes. Henry and May, Paddy and Agatha's close friends, experience marriage troubles owing to Henry's steamy affair with his very young office colleague as May turns to Jesus for comfort. And on it goes. VERDICT These funny and inventive stories about interesting people having sex and thinking about having sex should win English author Litt (deadkidsongs) many new fans.—Barbara Love, formerly with Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
- Seagull Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Toby Litt is senior lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published three collections of stories and eight novels and also writes the comic Dead Boy Detectives.
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