The Woman Who Wrote 'King Lear,' And Other Stories

Overview


Fiction. This wildly imaginative collection of fourteen short stories won't move you to tears, but will very likely move you to laughter. Phillips writes about a "committee of grief," about termites in Africa, about Lee Harvey Oswald's can opener. He tells of how an angry consumer shows his disdain for the telephone company by sending out false bills which, ultimately, leads to the withdrawal of the state of Iowa from the union. In one crazy piece, Phillips describes the chaos that occurs when a cat finds Thomas...
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The Woman Who Wrote King Lear and other stories

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Overview


Fiction. This wildly imaginative collection of fourteen short stories won't move you to tears, but will very likely move you to laughter. Phillips writes about a "committee of grief," about termites in Africa, about Lee Harvey Oswald's can opener. He tells of how an angry consumer shows his disdain for the telephone company by sending out false bills which, ultimately, leads to the withdrawal of the state of Iowa from the union. In one crazy piece, Phillips describes the chaos that occurs when a cat finds Thomas Hardy's heart, and, well, devours it, disrupting plans to put the heart on display. And he writes that amazing title story: Yes, it's true. "King Lear" was penned by Radcliffe Graduate Muriel B. Hopkins, not by the esteemed William Shakespeare. What is the theme connecting these stories? Madness, perhaps, but not only the madness of single characters - these stories are also about the "madness of crowds." Read these stories, but be prepared to confront new realities, some of which you may never entirely escape.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929355396
  • Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author


Louis Phillips has published more than 35 books for children and adults. Among his works are two collections of short stories A Dream of Countries Where No One Dare Live (SMU Press) and The Bus to the Moon (Fort Schuyler Press); Hot Corner, a collection of his baseball writings, and R. I. P. (a sequence of poems about Rip Van Winkle) from Livingston Press; The Envoi Messages, a full-length play (Broadway Play Publishers). His books for children include The Man Who Stole the Atlantic Ocean (Prentice Hall & Camelot Books), The Million Dollar Potato (Simon and Schuster), and How to Wrestle an Alligator (Avon). His sequence of poems The Time, The Hour, The Solitariness of the Place was the co-winner in the Swallow s Tale Press competition (l984). Among his other books of poems are The Krazy Kat Rag (Light Reprint Press), Bulkington (Hollow Spring Press), Celebrations & Bewilderments (Fragments Press), In the Field of Broken Hearts, and Into the Well of Knowingness (Prologue Press). His most recent books are The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations and The Death of the Siamese Twins & Other Plays (both by World Audience, Inc.). He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
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Table of Contents

Errata

Suddenly I Do Not Equate the Light with Anything But Madness: The Best Short Story of 2010 1

Writing 19

The Gorilla and My Wife 33

Jazz City 45

John Locke and His Bicycle 57

On the Street of the Mad Magicians 67

Notes from the Committee of Grief 79

A Brief Account of Termites Found in Africa (1871) 95

The Destruction of Iowa 103

The Woman Who Wrote King Lear 115

The Cat That Swallowed Thomas Hardy's Heart 131

The Interpretations of Dreams 143

In America, You Do Not Understand Your Life Unless You Understand the Movies 159

Lee Harvey Oswald's Can Opener 173

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Something To Add

    One of the thrills of reading THE WOMAN WHO WROTE "KING LEAR" is seeing how each story lives up to its title. In the title story we wonder: how is he going to pull this one off? But he does, in a most compelling and ingenious way that makes us look at Shakespeare's genius in a new light. Similarly with the stories like "The Cat That Swallowed Thomas Hardy's Heart", "Lee Harvey Oswald's Can Opener", "The Destruction Of Iowa" and "John Locke and His Bicycle" we are given access to little pockets of history not yet known; characters on the fringes of literary fame or world events that have somehow slipped between the cracks of history, but have in some way been intimately involved. Or so these stories would have us believe. And believe we do, largely because Louis Phillips has so carefully crafted and shaped these stories, in such a way that we are both enchanted and made aware of his method of enchantment. The stories constantly remind us that they are Written. The very act of writing is what the stories are often about. "Writing" is a terrific story that imagines a society that punishes those who write fiction, as well as other forms of writing not deemed appropriate. Sounds like a far-fetched premise, but the story is told (written?) to us by man who tells us he is holed up, at home, with a lynch mob outside his door and we believe him. We believe him because we believe Louis Phillips, the writer behind the writer risking all, to write. Read these stories and you will find yourself reevaluating some of your notions of society, history, lierature and the very act of creating. But you will also find yourself smiling. More to the point, laughing. These stories are funny. Starting with Errata, which is laugh-out-loud funny. The humor varies necessarily from story to story, but it is always there and is one of the great pleasures of this terrific book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2008

    A reviewer

    I went to Louis Phillips' book signing and bought a copy. I got to hear him read 'Lee Harvey Oswald's Can Opener ' one of the many extra-ordinary stories in this collection. It was a treat to have the author read aloud. His voice is fondly in my brain, and I can read all the remaining entries in the delightful voice of the author. Even if you can't do that you'll appreciate this funny, smart and abundantly talented writer.

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