By Stephen Dobyns
(Metropolitan Books, Hardcover, 9780805060225, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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From the bestselling author of The Church of Dead Girls and Boy in the Water, a collection of award-winning stories that probe our strange and unpredictable emotional lives.
In his first collection of stories, Stephen Dobyns, peerless chronicler of the menace and unease that lurk in small-town America, turns his attention to the dark, inescapable forces that test the patience, fidelity, and even good sense of the most ordinary people.
The sixteen stories in Eating Naked-two of which appeared in The Best American Short Stories-range from surreal to poignant, from chilling to comic. At the center of them all are men and women challenged by their own uncontrollable, illogical natures: poets with free-floating guilt, spouses with unacceptable sexual compulsions, farmers with midlife crises, gas men with erratic timetables. Marriages unravel, well-laid plans dissolve, and placid lives are turned upside down by something unforeseen-be it as mundane as a chance conversation, as inevitable as death, as improbable as a murderous pig. Now writing in a new form, Dobyns once again reveals his psychological acuity and grasp of social frailty. Sharp, funny, and profound, Eating Naked gets to the heart of a world in which order and reason rarely prevail over human peculiarity and longing for the astonishing and the unexpected.
Stephen Dobyns is the author of nine volumes of poetry, a book of essays (Best Words, Best Order), and nineteen novels, including The Church of Dead Girls and Boy in the Water. His short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Short Stories of 1993 and 1999.