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Some Trick: Thirteen Stories

Some Trick: Thirteen Stories

by Helen DeWitt
Some Trick: Thirteen Stories

Some Trick: Thirteen Stories

by Helen DeWitt


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At last a new book: a baker’s dozen of stories all with Helen DeWitt’s razor-sharp genius

Finalist for the Saroyan Prize for Fiction

NPR Best Book of the Year

New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults

For sheer unpredictable brilliance, Gogol may come to mind, but no author alive today takes a reader as far as Helen DeWitt into the funniest, most yonder dimensions of possibility. Her jumping-off points might be statistics, romance, the art world’s piranha tank, games of chance and games of skill, the travails of publishing, or success. “Look,” a character begins to explain, laying out some gambit reasonably enough, even if facing a world of boomeranging counterfactuals, situations spinning out to their utmost logical extremes, and Rube Goldberg-like moving parts, where things prove “more complicated than they had first appeared” and “at 3 a.m. the circumstances seem to attenuate.” In various ways, each tale carries DeWitt’s signature poker-face lament regarding the near-impossibility of the life of the mind when one is made to pay to have the time for it, in a world so sadly “taken up with all sorts of paraphernalia superfluous, not to say impedimental, to ratiocination.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811227827
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 05/29/2018
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Helen DeWitt was born in a suburb of Washington, DC. Daughter of American diplomats, she grew up mainly in Latin America, living in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. She went to Oxford to study classics for a BA and D.Phil. She left academia to try to write a novel, moving eventually to London and acquiring UK citizenship. She had some 100 fragments of novels when she began work in 1995 on the novel that was published as The Last Samurai in 2000. The book caused a sensation at the Frankfurt Bookfair 1999, going on to be translated in 20 languages (DeWitt reads some 15 languages to various degrees of fluency). On the reissue of The Last Samurai by New Directions in 2016 it was hailed by Vulture Magazine as The Best Book of the Century. She is also the author of Lightning Rods, a Mel Brooksian satire on sexual harassment, and Some Trick, a collection of stories. She has been based in Berlin since 2004, but also spends time at a cottage in the woods of Vermont improving her chainsaw skills.


Table of Contents

Here Is Somewhere vii

Brutto 3

My Heart Belongs to Bertie 25

On the Town 43

Remember Me 65

Climbers 77

Improvisation Is the Heart of Music 103

Famous Last Words 115

The French Style of Mlle Matsumoto 131

Stolen Luck 141

In Which Nick Buys a Harley 157

Trevor 165

Plantinga 175

Entourage 183

Publisher's Note 195

Author's Note 197

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