BN.com Gift Guide

What's Important Is Feeling: Stories

Overview

Bankers prowl Brooklyn bars on the eve of the stock market crash. A debate over Young Elvis versus Vegas Elvis turns existential. Detoxing junkies use a live lobster to spice up their love life. Students on summer break struggle to escape the orbit of a seemingly utopic communal house.

And in the title story, selected for The Best American Short Stories, two film school buddies working on a doomed project are left sizing up their own talent, ...

See more details below
Paperback
$12.17
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $3.80   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   
What's Important Is Feeling: Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

Bankers prowl Brooklyn bars on the eve of the stock market crash. A debate over Young Elvis versus Vegas Elvis turns existential. Detoxing junkies use a live lobster to spice up their love life. Students on summer break struggle to escape the orbit of a seemingly utopic communal house.

And in the title story, selected for The Best American Short Stories, two film school buddies working on a doomed project are left sizing up their own talent, hoping to come out on top—but fearing they won't.

In What's Important Is Feeling, Adam Wilson follows the through-line of contemporary coming-of-age from the ravings of teenage lust to the staggering loneliness of proto-adulthood. He navigates the tough terrain of American life with a delicate balance of comedy and compassion, lyricism and unsparing straightforwardness. Wilson's characters wander through a purgatory of yearning, hope, and grief. No one emerges unscathed.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Rebecca Lee
Wilson's title brings to mind Roethke ("We think by feeling. What is there to know?"), an appropriate spirit to linger over these conversational, lyrical and erotic stories. The writing is not dark—it's hilarious—but Wilson is interested in characters who have been dealt some trauma in their past, or who have dealt it themselves…Despite its glum themes…this book is a joy ride…The buoyant comedy and insight of Wilson's prose carries these stories farther and farther past taboo, into sensitive and complicated territory.
Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
Wilson's (Flatscreen) collection presents the listlessness and ennui associated with the post–baby boomer generation. A twist, though, is that the narrators are Jewish (all but one are male), which puts a particular slant on the slacker attitude. Taken as a whole, the book presents a picture of the coming-of-age angst of this generation, from adolescent lust to the loneliness and failure that waits in the shadow of adulthood. While the best stories resonate, others feel out of reach for readers who can't see themselves on the page. In one of the collection's standouts, "Things I Had," a man recalls, following the breakup of his marriage, growing up Jewish in Miami and attending a Catholic school with his sister as his grandfather faded into senility. At once ironic and wistful, "Some Nights We Tase Each Other" is about four college roommates living in a "classless household" where cocaine and books by Karl Marx also make appearances. And "We Close Our Eyes" details, from the viewpoint of a teenage boy, the state of a family as the mother's cancer returns. (Mar.)
B&N Review
“Adam Wilson’s fierce tales of botched dreams, conflicted ambitions and naïve missteps make for a millennial Winesburg, Ohio, capturing all the idealism and cynicism of young cohorts facing tough realities.”
New York Times Book Review
“This book is a joy ride . . . The buoyant comedy and insight of Wilson’s prose carries these stories farther and farther past taboo, into sensitive and complicated territory.”
Vanity Fair
“The stories in Adam Wilson’s What’s Important Is Feeling blend humor with emotion.”
Flavorwire
“Adam Wilson is one of our best young writers.”
GQ.com
“This book will bring you back to the wandering, blurred-together days of your early twenties, or, if you’re a younger person with creative aspirations, remind you of your very real present.”
ZYZZYVA
“With its tales of young men and women who can’t quite grow-up, is about addiction, fear, sickness, self-doubt, family and love. But it asks us to respect its dark and damaged characters and to come feel what they feel, even if it’s for just a moment in time.”
VOL. 1. BROOKLYN
“Getting laughs and pathos from the same work of fiction is a hard thing to do. Adam Wilson’s previous book, Flatscreen, did so regularly. . . . As good as that book was, his new collection What’s Important is Feeling, is even better.”
Buzzfeed
“Adam Wilson is a writer on the rise.”
Entertainment Weekly
“[A] testosterone- and coke-fueled collection. . . . Darkly funny.”
LITREACTOR.COM
“Adam Wilson can write. . . and he does so with a certain authenticity and humor that I rarely see. . . . If you enjoy the cohesive element in collections, then I can’t recommend this book enough.”
VOX Magazine
“Those who like to sympathize or psychoanalyze should find what they’re looking for in What’s Important is Feeling: Stories. Wilson’s characters might be one, probably two, cards short of a full deck, but they are inarguably funny.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-22
Wilson (Flatscreen, 2012) delivers a 12-story collection detailing the existential struggles of modern youth. The millennial generation populates nearly every story, beginning with "Soft Thunder" and "The Long In-Between." Disaffected protagonists appear in the first—semislackers in a garage band share the same damaged girl—and in the second, where a young woman follows her female professor to New York City. (This second tale is the only one told from a female perspective, but it's a distinction difficult to discern; male or female, the collection's young protagonists always seem mired in an existential swamp.) Nevertheless, Wilson crafts artful literary phrases—"my dreams are on the surface; when I wake I only rise inches" or "music mixing with all the dust and soot in the pipes as it came up through the grates. By the time it reached me, it sounded condensed, congested." The most powerful story is "We Close Our Eyes," narrated by teenage Zach. His mother is dying of cancer; his father seems distant and disinterested; and his younger sister is seduced, then shamed by an illicit sex tape. Around this implosion hovers Father Larry, a priest whose husbandlike attention to Zach's mother befuddles the boy. "Tell Me" finds supercilious college boys conned by an addict. Wilson's stories are city stories, many seemingly set in and around Boston, but the title story takes place at a Texas movie location and is narrated by a young film school graduate. Here again, Wilson does yeoman work with characters, from Monica, a young leading lady already seduced by celebrity's seamier elements, to Felix, hypercrazed writer-producer. The remaining stories—"Sluts at Heart," "America Is Me and Andy," "The Porchies" and "Milligrams"—also speak to millennial agitation at the edge of maturity, where reality is tackled with drugs, alcohol and sardonic contempt. Bleak First-World angst, delivered with style.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062284785
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 456,952
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Wilson is the author of the novel Flatscreen (Harper Perennial, 2012). His fiction has appeared in many publications including The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, Tin House, The Literary Review, The New York Tyrant, Gigantic, and many others.

He is currently a regular contributor to both BookForum and The Paris Review Daily. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Time Out New York, and elsewhere.

Adam holds a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Columbia University. A former employee of Brooklyn's famous BookCourt bookstore, he now teaches creative writing at NYU and The Sackett Street Writer's Workshop. He lives in Brooklyn with his cat.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)