Fiercely imaginative stories from an esteemed and prolific writer.
Publishers WeeklyCarol Emshwiller (Carmen Dog, etc.) lends her elegant wit to Report to the Men's Club, a collection of 19 fantastic short fictions treating the war between the sexes. Such tales as "Grandma," "Foster Mother" and "Prejudice and Pride" are brim-full of wry insights into male-female relationships. Testimonials from Samuel R. Delaney, Maureen McHugh, Terry Bisson and Connie Willis, among other big names, should send this one into extra printings. Emshwiller is also the author of a new novel, The Mount (Forecasts, July 8).
Kirkus ReviewsA daring, eccentric, and welcome observer of darkly human ways emerges from these 19 motley tales. Often writing in an ironical first-person voice, storywriter and novelist Emshwiller (Leaping Man Hill, 1999, etc.) assumes the persona of the outsider or renegade who flees the community as if to test boundaries and possibilities. In "After All," the narrator is a grandmother who decides to set out on a "makeshift journey" in her bathrobe and slippers simply because it is time. The setting is vague: she flaps through the town and then into the hills, pursued, she is sure, by her children, and, in the end, she is merely happy not "to miss all the funny things that might have happened later had the world lasted beyond me." Both in "Foster Mother" and "Creature," the mature, quirky narrators take on the care of an abandoned, otherworldly foundling and attempt to test their survival together in the wilds. In other stories, a character's affection for a scarred pariah forces her out of her home and through a stormy transformation-as in the sensationally creepy "Mrs. Jones." Of the two middle-aged spinster sisters, Cora and Janice, Janice is the fattish conspicuous one who decides to tame and civilize at her own peril the large batlike creature she finds wounded in the sisters' apple orchard. Janice does get her husband, and through skillful details and use of irony, the story becomes a chilling, tender portrait of the sisters' dependence and fragility. At her best, Emshwiller writes with a kind of sneaky precision by drawing in the reader with her sympathetic first person, then pulling out all recognizable indicators; elsewhere, as the long-winded "Venus Rising" (based on work by Elaine Morgan),the pieces read like way-far-out allegories. A startling, strong fourth collection by this author-look for her upcoming The Mount.
- Small Beer Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)
What People are saying about this
Connie WillisI read one of the stories in Carol Emshwiller�s new collection, Report to the Men�s Club, in progress several years ago and have thought about it ever since. I could even quote you lines! And now, having read the rest of the elegant, complex, insightful stories, I know she�s done the same thing to me again eighteen times over! Emshwiller knows more about men and mortality and love and loss and writing and life than anybody on the planet! Dazzling, dangerous, devastating writer! Unforgettable (and I mean that literally!) collection! Wow! Wow! Wow!
author of Passage
Samuel R. DelanyCarol Emshwiller�s stories are wonder-filled, necessary, and beautifully crafted. It�s a high pleasure indeed to see this new collection.
author of Dhalgren
Dan ChaonCarol Emshwiller has the energetic and surprising voice of a true original. Her stories are like beautiful strangers you meet at a party they�re witty and charming and hilarious at first, but then they take you aside, into a dark, quiet corner, and whisper something chilling or heartbreaking into your ear, leaving you with a kiss on the cheek that you won�t forget.
author of Among the Missing
McHughCarol Emshwiller makes fiction out of the stuff of our everyday lives; about moms and memory and monsters that end up as familiar as Border Collies. She�s deceptively deft, full of strange things that end up feeling as familiar as your own kitchen.
author of Nekropolis
Terry BissonI am disappointed by these stories. Disappointed that they have not (yet) won Emshwiller the Pulitzer she deserves as our premier magic realist. Disappointed that their sly and scary intimacy has not (yet) altered the tone of all science fiction for the better. Disappointed that she wrote them, not I.
author of The Pickup Artist
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