The New Order: Stories

The New Order: Stories

by Karen E. Bender


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"A collection that reflects America’s new reality." — The New York Times Book Review, New & Noteworthy

The National Book Award finalist for Refund returns with a new collection of stories that boldly examines the changes in American culture over the last two years through the increasing presence of violence, bigotry, sexual harassment, and the emotional costs of living under constant threat.

In the title story, the competition between two middle school cellists is affected by a shooting at their school, and it is only years later that they realize how the intrusion of violence affected the course of their lives. In "This Is Who You Are," a young girl walks the line between Hebrew school and her regular school, realizing that both are filled with unexpected moments of insight and violence. In "Three Interviews," an aging reporter must contend with her dwindling sense of self and resources, beleaguered by unemployment, which sets her on a path to three increasingly unhinged job interviews. In "Mrs. America," a candidate for local office must confront a host of forces that threaten to undermine her campaign and expose her own role in the dissonance between what America is and what it should be.

The New Order shows a singular writer dealing with contemporary themes and ideas, shining a spotlight on the dark corners of our nature, our instincts, and our country.

"The unfussy yet supremely crafted short fictions in the author’s second collection delight in upending expectations, playing fast and loose with the rules of tone, time, and point of view to constantly keep us guessing." — O, The Oprah Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640092723
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 11/12/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 371,115
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

KAREN E. BENDER is the author of Refund, a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction, short-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and long-listed for the Story Prize. She is also the author of the novels Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. She is the Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.

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The New Order: Stories 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
A mixture of short stories, the common theme seems to be dreary, depressing and the just plain weird. Every once in a while I'll read a book of short stories, though I normally tend to not be a fan. I want more depth in a story, depth that a short story tends to not give me. The first story is "Where to Hide in a Synagogue," where two older friends are going around a synagogue discussing the best place to hide if there were an active shooter. Morbid. But then this happens more and more these days. Just sad. In "The Elevator" a young woman is alone in an elevator with a strange man when he then comments how he could rape her, gropes her, then disappears. She is absolutely terrified to ever ride in an elevator alone with a man after that. One day she gets stuck in an elevator alone with a man again and panics when it breaks down. In "Three Interviews," a middle aged women is desperate for a job. She has three interviews lined up that day, and each interview becomes weirder than the last. It was just a weird story. A woman is campaigning for office in "Mrs America," and it's tearing her family apart. This is not mentioning every story in the book, just some of them. I thought the best story in the book was "The Department of Happiness and Reimbursement." This takes you into another world, where many don't have jobs, and the few that do work very long hours and are not always treated well. The main character works at an office that takes complaints from workers and sends them the reimbursements. This one story made me glad that I picked this book up, it was pretty good.