Dinner with Osama

Dinner with Osama

by Marilyn Krysl

Paperback

$20.00
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.

Overview

Dinner with Osama by Marilyn Krysl

“Marilyn Krysl is one of our most gifted, quirky, and delightful storytellers—unpredictable, funny, and wildly inventive in wondrous ways. Her new collection shows her at the top of her form as she details the ordinary, the absurd, and the apocalyptic in outrageous and deeply affecting ways.” —Jay Neugeboren, author of 1940 and News from the New American Diaspora

“Marilyn Krysl’s astonishing Dinner with Osama somehow finds the intersection between deep anguish at the state of the world and brilliant, caustic, and hilarious sociopolitical satire of America post-9/11. Its effrontery is peculiarly female, its fierce intelligence that of a mother—or even (‘Are We Dwelling Deep Yet?’) a Great Mother—who needs to save and feed the world however she can. Its north and south must be ‘Mitosis,’ Krysl’s heartbreaking life history of a young Dinka woman whose way of life, and source of food, have been destroyed by civil war in Sudan; its east and west is surely the title story, in the voice of a politically irreproachable matriarch of Boulder, Colorado, who does her part by extending a dinner invitation to Osama—yes, that Osama—through her ‘pal’ Abdullah at the local gyros stand; and Osama not only receives it, he accepts. Israelis and Palestinians, ‘conflict’-addicted cliché-mongers of the creative writing workshop, violent extremists of every stripe, and above all the wealthy consumerist left are all skewered in this miraculous collection.” —Jaimy Gordon, author of Bogeywoman and She Drove Without Stopping     
 
“We may have to invent a new term––‘the political lyric,’ perhaps––to describe the ‘airy speech and inspired story’ in Marilyn Krysl’s brilliant new collection of short fiction, Dinner with Osama. What holds all the fiction together, as much as the impassioned political and cultural concerns that inform them, is the writing, which is lyrical in the best sense, lyrical as in musical, expressive, and vivid.” —Ed Falco, author of Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha: New and Selected Stories

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780268033187
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date: 02/01/2008
Series: Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction Series
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Marilyn Krysl has published three collections of stories, six volumes of poetry, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories.

 

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Dinner with Osama 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The comical elegance of Marilyn Krysl¿s new book, featuring a spare but expensive table setting and a place card for its title guest, perfectly mirrors the elegant prose inside. Krysl serves up substantial portions of reality, made not just palatable, but savory by the humor and originality she mixes in. Her compassionate, idiosyncratic depictions of those who suffer famine and war teases each individual character out from the masses we too often imagine as an inhuman blur. She sears their suffering into our memory. But just as we don¿t think we can swallow another bite of such truth, she refreshes our palate with a zesty rendering of mother-daughter love, or a treatise on the beauty of belly fat, or the imperious, altruistic narrative voice of the Egyptian goddess Hathor and her pal Akka, the 12th Century Indian feminist. The two put George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden in time out together and make them take deep breaths. If you like your truth buttered in wisdom, and, like me, need to laugh in order to stay sane, read Dinner with Osama.
JuleneBair on LibraryThing 4 days ago
The comical elegance of Marilyn Krysl¿s new book, featuring a spare but expensive table setting and a place card for its title guest, perfectly mirrors the elegant prose inside. Krysl serves up substantial portions of reality, made not just palatable, but savory by the humor and originality she mixes in. Her compassionate, idiosyncratic depictions of those who suffer famine and war teases each individual character out from the masses we too often imagine as an inhuman blur. She sears their suffering into our memory. But just as we don¿t think we can swallow another bite of such truth, she refreshes our palate with a zesty rendering of mother-daughter love, or a treatise on the beauty of belly fat, or the imperious, altruistic narrative voice of the Egyptian goddess Hathor and her pal Akka, the 12th Century Indian feminist. The two put George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden in time out together and make them take deep breaths. If you like your truth buttered in wisdom, and, like me, need to laugh in order to stay sane, read Dinner with Osama.
EDashwood More than 1 year ago
Some short story collections assemble around a common theme. If there’s such a premise in Marilyn Krysl’s Dinner with Osama, it’s the author’s ironic and acerbic point of view on a variety of topics. But it’s one that will expand the reader’s understanding of this very confusing and often disheartening world. The first third of the book consists of two short stories with strong political overtones. “Dinner with Osama” pits the author-narrator against a fantastic political situation involving President George Bush and Osama bin Laden: what if a regular citizen were able to invite both men to a low-key meeting to solve the disagreements between their two countries? The second is also hypothetical, starring the same leaders, with the addition of Egyptian goddess Hathor and assorted other deities, trying to resolve disagreements in Boulder, Colorado. Krysl’s razor-sharp satire is moderated by her sympathy for the condition of our culture and the reader’s concomitant pity. The second part of the book shows Krysl’s peculiar gift to see and capture pop culture and spice it with historic and mythical interplay and her own cockamamie point of view. Gods and classic heroes drop in for a day at the beach, tap her on the shoulder, to comment on contemporary life. Perhaps we can loom as large as the Olympians as well as be as petty. The final third of the collection is the most piercing. Here her prose is a slap across the face to wake you up to true evil possible in the human condition. Both stories are set in war-torn and famine-pinched Africa, In “Mitosis,” a young girl experiences the loss of everything dear to her. The final story, “Welcome to the Torture Center, Love,” set in a refugee camp, details a heart-breaking saga of an American aid worker who falls in love with an African-Brit doctor. Surely their chronicle is star-crossed from the beginning. Krysl won the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction from the University of Notre Dame and the Bronze Book of the Year Award Winner from ForeWord in 2008 for her compilation. But to have a real impact, the book should be required reading for all the world’s leaders, whatever their ilk.