Zero Db and Other Stories

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Zero db: And Other Stories

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bell, author of the critically well-received novel Waiting for the End of the World ( LJ 9/15/85), among others, writes with razor-sharp precision of grim doings in the rural South and the seamy side of urban New York. His stories have sharply delineated characters who generally seem to be unhappy or desperate. In ``Irene,'' for instance, a man who has settled in a forlorn Puerto Rican neighborhood of Newark watches, as an outsider, a young girl learning to survive in her own world. As observers of life, the people in these stories possess a clarity of vision that startles the reader, but the dreariness of their realities is what lingers in the mind. For serious fiction collections. Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Anne Bernays
Considered separately, the stories in this collection by the novelist Madison Smartt Bell are astonishing; considered together, they are even more astonishing, for they indicate a dazzling range of voice....His voice, whatever octave it lands on, is strong and passionate. He loves things and people the way they are while simultaneously expressing outrage that they are not better, wiser, kinder. This outrage, tempered by art, provides the consistent over- and undertones that make his voice unmistakable and memorable. -- New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140106299
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/1988
  • Series: Contemporary American Fiction
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Madison Smartt  Bell
Madison Smartt Bell
Whether he's writing about the Haitian Revolution or a white Tae Kwon Do teacher in the Baltimore ghetto, Madison Smartt Bell can be extraordinarily flexible while maintaining his simple but poetic way with language. As the New York Times Book Review once put it, "[Bell] has an uncanny understanding of the way many people must struggle to live."

Biography

Best known for an acclaimed trilogy of novels which chart the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803 (All Souls Rising; Master of the Crossroads; and The Stone That The Builder Refused), Madison Smartt Bell was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and educated at Princeton University and Hollins College. In addition to fiction that ranges from historical novels to short stories to dark psychological thrillers, he has written biographies (one of pioneering chemist Antoine Lavoisier and another of Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture) and Charm City, an idiosyncratic guided tour of Baltimore, where he lives with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spires. He has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and at Johns Hopkins University and currently directs the Creative Writing program at Goucher College. In 1996, Bell was chosen by the British literary magazine Granta as one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists. He is also an accomplished songwriter and musician.

Good To Know

"Two of my longterm pastimes are martial arts and music. I think this item of fact should make the characters I've written who practice both more plausible. I practiced Tae Kwon Do for 20 years until my knees stopped cooperating. Since then I've been doing Tae Chi -- great for concentration, meditation, clearing the head and restoring the energy, as well as being easier on the joints for anyone over 40. I've played various fretted instruments since I was 11, most recently electric guitar. Anything Goes, my most recent book, is a novel about a year in the live of a traveling cover band. It features a few original tunes cowritten by me and Wyn Cooper."

"Since 1996 I've been importing a few paintings from the Cap Haitien area of Haiti, as a benefit for painters there who suffer from the sharp decline of tourism. and some of these paintings can be seen at http://faculty.goucher.edu/mbell/painting.htm."

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    1. Hometown:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 1, 1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nashville, Tennessee
    1. Education:
      A.B. in English, Princeton University, 1979; M.A. in English and creative writing, Hollins College, 1981
    2. Website:

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