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Senior school reading suggestions: Home
If you are only able to read only a few books per year this is a list of "MUST READS"
Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach - Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
In a vase in a closet, a couple of years after his father died in 9/11, nine-year-old Oskar discovers a key . . . The key belonged to his father, he's sure of that. But which of New York's 162 million locks does it open? So begins a quest that takes Oskar - inventor, letter-writer and amateur detective - across New York's five boroughs and into the jumbled lives of friends, relatives and complete strangers. He gets heavy boots, he gives himself little bruises and he inches ever nearer to the heart of a family mystery that stretches back fifty years. But will it take him any closer to, or even further from, his lost father?
After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is sentenced in 1806 to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. Away from the infant township of Sydney, up the Hawkesbury River, Thornhill encounters men who have tried to do just that- Blackwood, who is attempting to reconcile himself with the place and its people, and Smasher Williams, whose fear of this alien world turns into brutal depravity towards it. As Thornhill and his family stake their claim on a patch of ground by the river, the battle lines between old and new inhabitants are drawn.
At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with a suspicious, and possibly armed, American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful meeting. Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by Underwood Samson, an elite firm that specializes in the "valuation" of companies ripe for acquisition. He thrives on the energy of New. But in the wake of September 11, he finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and perhaps even love.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.
The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece. Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were pupils at Hailsham - an idyllic establishment situated deep in the English countryside. The children there were tenderly sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe they were special, and that their personal welfare was crucial. But for what reason were they really there? It is only years later that Kathy, now aged 31, finally allows herself to yield to the pull of memory. What unfolds is the haunting story of how Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, slowly come to face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods - and about their futures. Never Let Me Go is uniquely moving novel, charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of our lives.
Fourteen-year-old convict Tom Clay lives in a shepherd's hut in the bush, protecting his master's sheep from wild dogs. When a vicious fellow shepherd returns to ensure there are no witnesses to his crimes, the bush-crafty Tom and his hapless mate Rowdy face a life-and-death battle to survive.
Like its noteworthy ancestors (Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, the Ancient Mariner and Moby Dick) Life of Pi is a tale of disaster at sea. Both a boys' own adventure (for grown-ups) and a meditation on faith and the value of religious metaphor, it was one of the most extraordinary and original novels of 2002. The only survivor from the wreck of a cargo ship on the Pacific, 16 year old Pi spends 221 days on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal Tiger called Richard Parker ...
Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda's assistance, he co-designs Adam's personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever - a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma.
Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in what remains of a Britain ravaged by revolution. His every move is monitored by the Thought Police, who are responsible for detecting dissent against the Party and its leader, Big Brother and eliminating it. When he meets Julia, Winston thinks he might have found love, and a fellow loather of the Party. But when the pair are arrested and sent to the sinister Room 101 for re-education, their bond and commitment to their shared cause will be tested to its limits. George Orwell's dystopian vision of a world enslaved by doublethink and thoughtcrime is as terrifying now as it was on its initial publication in 1949.
'I am absolutely terrified of losing a job I absolutely hate.' Stephen Maserov has problems. A onetime teacher, married to fellow teacher Eleanor, he has retrained and is now a second-year lawyer working at mega-firm Freely Savage Carter Blanche. Despite toiling around the clock to make budget, he's in imminent danger of being downsized. And to make things worse, Eleanor, sick of single-parenting their two young children thanks to Stephen's relentless work schedule, has asked him to move out. To keep the job he hates, pay the mortgage and salvage his marriage, he will have to do something strikingly daring, something he never thought himself capable of. But if he's not careful, it might be the last job he ever has...
After Pat Peoples and his wife Nikki separate, he goes to live with his parents but everything seems changed. No one wants to talk to him about Nikki, his old friends are busy with their families, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as therapy. He meets Tiffany, a clinically depressed widow, who offers to act as a go-between for Pat and his wife if Pat will give up watching football, agrees to perform in the Dance Away Depression competition and not tell anyone about their contract.
Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. This birthday, he has decided, will be different. Alone, as ever, in his house, he wraps five presents: four are for the people who matter most to him, and one is for himself-a gun. He plans to kill his former best friend, and then himself, but first he will say goodbye four times, in his own unique and special way. As he delivers each of his presents, more of his story is revealed: a story as heart-breaking as it is powerful.
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilisation. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist--the de facto leader--and a biologist, who is our narrator. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens, to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
When May's mother dies suddenly, she and her brother Billy are taken in by Aunty. However, their loss leaves them both searching for their place in a world that doesn't seem to want them. While Billy takes his own destructive path, May sets off to find her father and her Aboriginal identity. Her journey leads her from the Australian east coast to the far north, but it is the people she meets, not the destinations, that teach her what it is to belong
This collection of linked stories showcases his strengths: memorable characters colliding with the moments that define them-for better or worse-and clean, evocative prose that captures the often stultifying life in smalltown Western Australia. In the title story, Raelene, a young wife and mother living in a trailer park with her abusive husband, Max, becomes fascinated with her happy new neighbors; the seemingly perfect couple's influence sets Raelene on a muddled path toward self-examination, resulting in a transformation shocking for both its brutality and na?vet?. "Sand" reveals Max's cruelty as a young boy-he tries to bury his younger brother alive-while "Family" shows the two brothers meeting again as adults, with the balance of power between them shifting dramatically. Another character, Vic, is central to the book: he appears as an awkward adolescent fixated on unattainable older girls, as a young man coping with the legacy of his father's alcoholism and abandonment, and as a middle-aged man unable to come to terms with his past. Winton reveals a wide but finely turned swath of simmering inner lives; the sweetness of these stories, as well as their sharp bite, feels earned and real.
More than once since then I've wondered whether the life-threatening high jinks that Loonie and I and Sando and Eva got up to in the years of my adolescence were anything more than a rebellion against the monotony of drawing breath. Breath is a story about the wildness of youth - the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don't - and about learning to live with its passing.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger and her younger brother are being taken by their mother to live with a foster family outside Munich. Liesel's father was taken away on the breath of a single, unfamiliar word - Kommunist - and Liesel sees the fear of a similar fate in her mother's eyes. On the journey, Death visits the young boy, and notices Liesel. It will be the first of many near encounters. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down. THE BOOK THIEF is a story about the power of words to make worlds. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
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Eleven years ago, six kindergartners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to. Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are. fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max--the only one who hasn't come back. Which leaves Max's sister, Avery, wanting answers. She wants to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story. But as details of the disappearance begin to unfold, no one is prepared for the truth.
Words are weapons. Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. If she is to reclaim her birthright, she must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge. Only half a war is fought with swords. The deeply cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king's minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head--a man who worships only Death. Sometimes one must fight evil with evil. Some--like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith--are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others--like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver--would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her irons wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness...
One boy. One journey. One hidden destiny. In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the murderous warlord, Iida Sadamu, surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard. Brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people, Takeo has learned only the ways of peace. Why, then, does he possess the deadly skills that make him so valuable to the sinister Tribe? These supernatural powers will lead him to his violent destiny within the walls of Inuyama - and to an impossible longing for a girl who can never be his. His journey is one of revenge and treachery, honour and loyalty, beauty and magic, and the passion of first love.
This is the story of Offred, one of the "Handmaids" under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the "time before" and her will to survive are acts of rebellion.
When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The handmaid's tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With this book, the wait is over. This sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
The series that began in October with Karen Armstrong's compelling A Short History of Myth continues, with electrifying new works of fiction from two of the world's most loved writers. Booker Award-winner Margaret Atwood, who has reworked the traditional telling of the Odyssey narrative, says- I've chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing chorus which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of The Odyssey - what led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in The Odyssey doesn't hold water; there are too many inconsistencies. I've always been haunted by the hanged maids; and in The Penelopiad , so is Penelope herself.
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit - and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted ...
Meursault will not lie. Unmoved by his mother's death, he refuses to satisfy the feelings of others by pretending grief. At the end of the funeral, he returns to his simple, bachelor existence in sun-bleached Algiers. Until he is involved in a violent murder and placed on trial. Will he now, with his life in danger, give in to society's demands and 'play the game'?
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
Revered as a national hero - married to the desirable Desmerelda - cherished by the media - soccer star, Otello, has it all. But a sensational club transfer sparks a media frenzy, and when he is wrongly implicated in a scandal, the footballer's life turns into a tragic spiral of destruction.
Fifteen-year-old Alex doesn't just like ultra-violence - he also enjoys rape, drugs and Beethoven's 9th. He and his gang rampage through a dystopian future, hunting for terrible thrills. But when Alex finds himself at the mercy of the state and subject to the ministrations of Dr Brodsky, the government psychologist, he finds that fun is no longer the order of the day...
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and the her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret. Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father's life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering. At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in.
Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs fight each other barehanded. Then they go back to their jobs with black eyes and loose teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius.
In the remote outback of Western Australia during World War II, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife, Stella, raise a lonely child, Perdita. Her upbringing is far from ordinary: in a shack in the wilderness, with a distant father burying himself in books and an unstable mother whose knowledge of Shakespeare forms the backbone of the girl's limited education.
Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, this is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome power of the Combine.
Harry Morgan was hard - the classic Hemingway hero - rum-running, gun-running and man-running from Cuba to the Florida Keys in the Depression. He ran risks, too, from stray coastguard bullets and sudden double-crosses. But it was the only way he could keep his boat, keep his independence, and keep his belly full...
Zadie Smith's White Teeth is a classic international bestseller and an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked about fictional debuts ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
An SF novel about vampires . . . Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?
American Gods, the extraordinary, highly acclaimed epic novel from storytelling genius and international bestseller Neil Gaiman, was brought vividly to life this year in the hottest major TV show of 2017 , and Amazon Prime video series starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning and Gillian Anderson. For fans of The Book of Dust and Mythos by Stephen Fry. After three years in prison, Shadow has served his time. But as the days and hours until his release tick away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before his release date, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break . . .
How not to be a professional racing driver by Plato, J
Call Number: NFN 796.72 PLA
Publication Date: 2019
Two-time championship-winning and record-breaking racing driver, Jason Plato is a living, breathing example of what you shouldn't do if you want to become a professional racing driver-Do Not Almost kill Bernie Ecclestone Give Prince Charles the finger on the M42 Choose fags and booze over the gym Steal a JCB in Monaco and end up in prison there - twice Make enemies with a 6ft 6" rival who is a black belt in everything Since joining the Williams Touring Car team in 1997 it's no coincidence that he has had more race wins than Lewis Hamilton and Stirling Moss, competed in more races than Jenson Button and set the largest number of fastest laps ever. But it's also no coincidence that he once spent several days in prison in Monaco for stealing a JCB. He's a rule breaker who has had more than his fair share of near-death experiences, drunken escapades and more. Yet he's still racing.
Jeff Horn's journey to victory will resonate with anyone who has ever felt downhearted or dejected, anyone who has ever been an outsider. It's the revenge of the nerd, the rise of the geek, the coronation of the wimpy kid who once spent his lunchtime in the library to avoid the tough guys. The now millionaire boxer's message is simple: never give up on your dreams, because if you push through tough times, amazing things can happen. Through his rise from the pit of despair to global sporting fame, Jeff Horn has proved to the whole world that anything is possible. Anything.
ooty legend Kevin Sheedy crosses team alliances to profile the 21 most iconic Aussie Rules players and coaches of his lifetime. He also sits down for interviews with nine icons he has long admired and who don't normally (for various reasons) have their stories told. Packed full of wisdom and wit, insight and memories, "Icons of Footy" is a treasure-trove for football fans of all tribes and ages, from one of the most unique and colourful characters in Australian sport. Includes: Gary Ablett Senior, Allen Aylett, Ron Barassi, Kevin Bartlett, Malcolm Blight, Barry Cable, Wayne Carey, Alastair Clarkson, Jason Dunstall, Graham Farmer, Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes, Royce Hart, Francis Hughes, James Hird, Alex Jesaulenko, Leigh Matthews, Kevin Murray, John Nicholls, Barrie Robran, Michael Tuck.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
The Best Science Fiction Stories of H. G. Wells by Wells, H GHailed as the founder of modern science fiction, H. G. Wells (1866-1946) wrote a brilliant succession of novels and short stories that remain in the first rank of the genre. In fantasies made credible by their simple realism, his enduringly relevant tales gave symbolic expression to the ideas and anxieties of his era. This collection contains the best of H. G. Wells's science-fiction short stories: favorites like "The Crystal Egg," "Aepyornis Island," "The Strange Orchid," "The Man Who Could Work Miracles," "A Dream of Armageddon," "The Sea Raiders," and other tales about fourth-dimensional adventure, biological monstrosities, marvelous inventions, time distortions, cosmic catastrophe, and other intriguing events. In addition to these 17 short stories, this anthology features the novel The Invisible Man in its entirety. One of Wells's most popular stories, it offers both a serious study of egotism as well as a first-rate science-fiction thriller. AUTHOR: A pioneer of science fiction, H. G. Wells (1866-1946) wrote thrilling adventures about time travel, space exploration, alien invasion, and scientific experiments gone awry. His tales of obsession, revelation, and discovery remain compellingly readable and relevant.
The extraordinarily beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, is corrupted by the devilish Lord Henry Wotton who introduces him to the seedy pleasures of London life. Desperate to protect the youth and beauty captured in an early portrait, Dorian sells his soul and slips deeper into a life of decadence and debauchery.
Includes stories by Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Ursula K. LeGuin, Tad Williams, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, Robert Jordan.
This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community. Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation's culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any reader.
The unknowable wisdom of a baby; two teenagers with plans to build a time machine;the unnerving relationship between a man and his dangerous dog; a bumpy reunion between two childhood friends . . . These are stories about how people grow together and pull apart, the strangeness of lives lived at close quarters. Envy, distrust, confidence, collusion, hope - in this remarkable collection, Emily Fridlund delves into the small lies and large truths that make up our lives. Selected by Ben Marcus as winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction
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It's the anxious eve of the millennium. The car is packed to capacity, and as midnight approaches, a family flees the city in a fit of panic, paranoid and conflicting emotions. The ensuing journey spans decades and offers a sharp-eyed perspective on a hardscrabble future as a boy jettisons his family and all other ties in order to survive.
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