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The Paris Review Book of People with Problems

Overview

The Paris Review asks: who hasn’t survived a tax audit, a snowstorm, a break-up, or presided over a murder?

The next addictively clever Paris Review anthology is not a self-help manual; rather it is a wicked elaboration on the human effort to overcome--and instigate--trouble. Throughout these pages you will find men plagued with guilt, women burdened by history, scientists bound by passion, mothers fogged with delusion, and lovers vexed with ...

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Overview

The Paris Review asks: who hasn’t survived a tax audit, a snowstorm, a break-up, or presided over a murder?

The next addictively clever Paris Review anthology is not a self-help manual; rather it is a wicked elaboration on the human effort to overcome--and instigate--trouble. Throughout these pages you will find men plagued with guilt, women burdened by history, scientists bound by passion, mothers fogged with delusion, and lovers vexed with jealousy. In the theme that encompasses every life, no protagonist--or reader!--is exempt.

Among those to appear:
- Annie Proulx
- Andre Dubus
- Norman Rush
- Charles Baxter
- Wells Tower
- Julie Orringer
- Elizabeth Gilbert
- Ben Okri
- Rick Bass

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
All fiction concerns people with problems-without them, after all, where's the plot?-but the characters in these 17 stories, originally published in the Paris Review between 1974 and 2004, have been dealt particularly bad hands. Some, like the junkie mother in Malinda McCollum's "The Fifth Wall," have screwed up their lives pretty thoroughly, while others appear to be merely drifting along, like the therapist in Charles Baxter's "Westland." The tone shifts from story to story: Joanna Scott traces the beginnings of a psychoanalyst's obsession with a patient in the neutral language of a case history, while Elizabeth Gilbert continually ups the farcical stakes as she spins a yarn about a violent nightclub owner, his magician daughter and their rabbit. Other contributors include Denis Johnson, Mary Robison, Rick Bass and Norman Rush. Charlie Smith's tale of drunken buddies who hook up with a naked woman on a canoeing trip is the only real misstep, coming off like a parody of stories of rural dysfunction. But this is overall a strong anthology of tales of trouble. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312422417
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

The Paris Review has published the work of Gabriel García Márquez, Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Michael Chabon, and Jack Kerouac, among many others. They celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2003.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Stephin Merritt
A Borderline Case by Joanna Scott
The Wamsutter Wolf by Annie Proulx
The Dream Vendor's August by Ben Okri
The Brown Coast by Wells Tower
When She Is Old and I Am Famous by Julie Orringer
The Hermit's Story by Rick Bass
Snow by James Lasdun
The Fifth Wall by Malinda McCollum
Instruments of Seduction by Norman Rush
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
Likely Lake by Mary Robison
Westland by Charles Baxter
Birthmark by Miranda July
Audit by Richard Stern
The Famous Torn and Restored Lit Cigarette Trick by Elizabeth Gilbert
Widow Water by Frederick Busch
Crystal River by Charlie Smith
Contributors
Acknowledgments

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