From a fresh and highly original voice, a debut collection of stories that illuminates the state of America today with an inscrutable, eerily clarifying light.
In 'Lubbock Is Not a Place of the Spirit,' a Texas Tech student recognizable as John Hinckley, Jr. writes hundreds of songs for Jodie Foster as he grows increasingly estranged from reality. The young couple in 'The Thing About Norfolk,' socially isolated after a cross-country move, are dismayed to find themselves unable to resist sexually deviant urges. And in the deeply touching title story, a husband's layoff stretches a couple to their limit as they struggle to care for their emotionally unbalanced young son. Set in cities across America and spanning the last half-century, this collection draws a bead on our national identity, distilling our obsessions, our hauntings, our universal predicament.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Murray Farish's short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, Epoch, Roanoke Review, and Black Warrior Review, among other publications. His work has been awarded the William Peden Prize, the Phoebe Fiction Prize, and the Donald Barthelme Memorial Fellowship Prize, among others. Farish lives with his wife and two sons in St. Louis, Missouri, where he teaches writing and literature at Webster University. Inappropriate Behavior is his debut.
Read an Excerpt
from the story, "Ready for Schmelling"
My name is Perkins, and my story begins on a Monday. Just as I was about to leave my desk after another day at the international corporation where I am employed, I happened to glance out the window to see a man crawling across the parking lot. I watched him as he crawledhands and knees, attaché-handle in his teethfrom the front steps of the building all the way to the third row of cars, a good sixty yards or so, just like a baby in a blue business suit. When he got to his dark green Ford Taurus, the mid-level company car, he stood, took his attaché from his mouth, dusted himself off, got in and drove away in what I have to assume was the normal modeseated, strapped in, ten-and-twofor a man of his age and station.
I had long ago quit wondering, or at least asking, about most of what went on at the I.C. I started there three years agojust after Marcie and I got married, just before my father diedand I had seen more than enough corporate and individual doltishness, weirdness, and outright stupidity to make me seriously question the veracity of the yearly financial reports, which show us as a major player in the I.C. world. I had witnessed fiscal irresponsibility and massive waste offset by arbitrary niggling and concealed by necromantic accounting. I had narrowly escaped involvement in churlish turf wars. I had seen grown men and women reduced to paranoid hysterics by such matters as their table assignment at the company picnic or having their name left off a memo concerning this month’s coffee fund. I had learned that the single most important task one can master in business is that of assigning blame, and I had seen the best of the best ply their trade with such a profound lack of conscience that it would be debilitating in normal life. I was even there the day last March when Terrence McNeilwho never learned the corollary to the Most Important Task, that one must diligently avoid blamecame by to show some of his former co-workers in Vendor Support the business end of his Winchester side-by-side. But I had never seen a man in a blue suit crawl across a parking lot before.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Features two stories about Presidential shooters, a weird office situation, a violent woman, an unhappy guy, a PTSD gal, and a youth who appears to have OCD or something. All sad, swearing.