The One Marvelous Thing

Overview

Winner of a 2007 American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rikki Ducornet is beloved as a novelist and essayist, but is known perhaps most of all for her work as a writer of short stories. In the tradition of Italo Calvino, Donald Barthelme, and Angela Carter, Ducornet creates modern-day fables filled with characters as complex and surprising as any in American short fiction. This landmark collection of new stories is generously illustrated by T. Motley, whose gritty, fantastical cartooning explores the same ...

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Overview

Winner of a 2007 American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rikki Ducornet is beloved as a novelist and essayist, but is known perhaps most of all for her work as a writer of short stories. In the tradition of Italo Calvino, Donald Barthelme, and Angela Carter, Ducornet creates modern-day fables filled with characters as complex and surprising as any in American short fiction. This landmark collection of new stories is generously illustrated by T. Motley, whose gritty, fantastical cartooning explores the same post-magical realism that has been the subject of Ducornet's distinguished career.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
an irresistible sequence of bizarre, quirky and zany stories' -Robert Allen Papinchak, Seattle Times

Dalkey Archive Press

Publishers Weekly

Illustrated with Motley's inky, scruffy black-and-white sketches, many of these 29 shorts from poet and novelist Ducornet aim to push readers' buttons, such as the exclamatory narrative by the feral young creature in "Wild Child," who pretends to "repent" of her savage ways, but secretly wants to run and hunt. Themes of female entrapment recur, as in "Guilia on Her Knees," the tale of an old sculptor's marriage to a young Italian peasant girl and her removal to a farmhouse in northern Vermont where she spends the rest of her days "scrubbing spattered grease off the floor so that some mean bastard can walk on it." Another marriage runs afoul in "The Dickmare," set amid a community of grotesque organisms in the sea, and Ducornet similarly pulls the stops out of her whimsical vocabulary in "The One Marvelous Thing," about two dissimilar women who go shopping together. These stories spotlight Ducornet's linguistic pyrotechnics and will delight readers who, like Ducornet, can find the beauty in the irreverent and absurd. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

Ducornet, an acclaimed novelist and poet, was recently awarded an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This new collection of wildly unconventional short stories begins with "The Wild Child," a fierce tale told from the point of view of a feral child. The rest of the pieces venture further into the realm of surrealism and weird fantasy. Collaborating with Ducornet is cartoonist T. Motley. Despite a nod to the classic drawings of Edward Lear, some of these cartoons are more juvenile than witty. Readers may get a better sense of Ducornet's boldly inventive style from one of her longer novels. Like most experimental fiction, this new novel is written for and will be read by only a select few. Suggested for university libraries and other large libraries with a contemporary literature collection.
—Leslie Patterson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564785190
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: American Literature Series
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of eight novels, three collections of short fiction, a book of essays and five books of poetry, Rikki Ducornet has twice been honored by the Lannan Foundation. She has received the Bard College Arts and Letters award and, in 2008, an Academy Award in Literature. Her work is widely published abroad.

Dalkey Archive Press

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