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The Withdrawal Method

Overview

Pasha Malla knows joy in all of its weird, unsettling, and wondrous forms. In their humor, careful warmth, and straight honesty, his stories capture clearly something odd and beautiful -the unmistakable feeling of empathy. From young couples fighting through the emotional trauma of the modern world to children navigating wayward, forbidden paths of fantasized adulthood, Malla presents characters with feet rooted deep in the familiar and hearts that slowly open to reveal the pain and unexpected love a life ...
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The Withdrawal Method

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Overview

Pasha Malla knows joy in all of its weird, unsettling, and wondrous forms. In their humor, careful warmth, and straight honesty, his stories capture clearly something odd and beautiful -the unmistakable feeling of empathy. From young couples fighting through the emotional trauma of the modern world to children navigating wayward, forbidden paths of fantasized adulthood, Malla presents characters with feet rooted deep in the familiar and hearts that slowly open to reveal the pain and unexpected love a life accumulates.The Withdrawal Method gives us worlds where Niagara Falls has run dry, where cream meant to curb skin cell rejuvenation can be purchased, and where ancient frustrated chess masters unwittingly invent machines that alter the course of history. Reminiscent of Lorrie Moore, Haruki Murakami, and George Saunders, these worlds are haunting, captivating, and constructed with a poise and precision that reaches beyond technical skill.Malla's is as assured a voice as seen in years, his smooth, mature style punctuated by bursts of wild humor and enlivened by endlessly inventive storytelling. As individual narratives, these stories speak to each side of the protean human psyche, but when taken in together they address with full understanding the fragility of our lives. Pasha Malla knows joy - knows its ugliness, its beauty, its uncertainty - and there is no moment in The Withdrawal Method left untouched by that knowledge.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This debut story collection from Canadian poet Malla (All Our Grandfathers Are Ghosts) is a disappointing assemblage of pieces from a writer who has not yet found his voice. The mishmash of styles ranges from nearly Victorian ("The Love Life of the Automaton Turk") to kitschy postmodern ("The Film We Made About Dads"). Several of the stories have undeniably empathetic characters, especially the nine-year-old girl who narrates "Pushing Oceans In and Pulling Oceans Out"; suffering from OCD, she lives with her mentally retarded brother and their single father, who masturbates to porn films after the children are in bed. At times, Malla's heavy-handedness feels cynical, as in "Respite," when the story's theme is literally delivered via a tossed wedding bouquet that lands squarely on the plate of the narrator's cranky and uninterested girlfriend. But even given so many of the pieces' dramatic premises, Malla chooses the road of obfuscation, too often denying the reader crucial information. (Apr.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593762384
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 1,406,893
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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