Party Dress

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
English rock singer and artist Coyne's entertaining first book--a collection of short-short stories, plays and drawings--portrays people whom life has cheated out of the pretensions of normalcy. Their tales are both blackly humorous and tragic. In the title story, a young boy accepts pocket change from an old crone who, in collusion with his mother, forces him to wear the dress of her long-dead daughter. He submits, only to be taunted by his mother: ``You bloody well enjoyed it.'' Yet aberrant forms of experience give the lives of Coyne's characters a kind of warped order and purpose. In ``Wedding Night,'' a couple's nuptial eve is interrupted by the bride's ex-boyfriend, who arrives to saw her in half. The intruder dies in the ensuing scuffle and the newlyweds dismember him, an activity that bonds them: ``They were together forever in the deepest possible way. They had real secrets to keep.'' Less satisfying are ``Ironies: Incidents from an Endless Dream,'' prose pieces that, lacking narratives, seem diffuse and rambling compared with the quirky, absurdist visions of humanity that make the rest of the work so fascinating. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852421977
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 4/28/1991
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Coyne
Kevin Coyne
With his compelling nonfiction reportage that's as dramatic as any novel -- including the WWII veteran profile Marching Home -- Kevin Coyne is bringing another perspective to "the greatest generation."

Good To Know

In our interview, Coyne shared some fascinating facts about himself:

"I started working at 14 at the local library and later graduated to driving a bookmobile."

"I started a newspaper when I was 22 and just out of college; it lasted less than a year, but it got that impulse out of my system so I don't have to do it again.

"I live in the same town where my family has been living since before the Civil War, and I serve here as both a councilman and as the town historian, which means I occasionally visit the grammar schools and embarrass my children there by trying to interest their classes in a bunch of old stories."

"I have three beautiful children who, if they ever choose to become writers themselves, will be fully aware of both the joys and consequences of their choice."

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    1. Hometown:
      Freehold, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 5, 1959
    2. Place of Birth:
      Freehold, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1981

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