Spectacle

By Susan Steinberg
(Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555976316, 137pp.)

Publication Date: January 8, 2013

List Price: $14.00*
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Description

An inventive new collection from the author of "Hydroplane" and "The End of Free Love"


* A "San Francisco Chronicle, Complex," "Flavorwire, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy" and "Slaughterhouse 90210" Best Book of the Year *


In these innovative linked stories, women confront loss and grief as they sift through the wreckage of their lives. In the title story, a woman struggles with the death of her friend in a plane crash. A daughter decides whether to take her father off life support in the Pushcart Prize-winning "Cowboys." And in "Underthings," when a man hits his girlfriend, she calls it an accident. "Spectacle" bears witness to alarming and strange incidents: carnival rides and plane crashes, affairs spied through keyholes and amateur porn, vandalism and petty theft. These wounded women stand at the edge of disaster and risk it all to speak their sharpest secrets.


In lean, acrobatic prose, Susan Steinberg subverts assumptions about narrative and challenges conventional gender roles. She delivers insight with a fierce lyric intensity in sentences shorn of excessive sentiment or unnecessary ornament. By fusing style and story, Steinberg amplifies the connections between themes and characters so that each devastating revelation echoes throughout the collection. A vital and turbulent book from a distinctive voice, "Spectacle" will break your heart, and then, before the last page is turned, will bind it up anew.


"Experimental but never opaque, Steinberg's stories seethe with real and imagined menace." --"Publishers Weekly.




About the Author
Susan Steinberg is the author of the short-story collections "Hydroplane" and "The End of Free Love". She was the 2010 United States Artists Ziporyn Fellow in Literature. Her stories have appeared in "McSweeney"'"s", "Conjunctions", "The Gettysburg Review", "American Short Fiction", "Boulevard", and "The Massachusetts Review", and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center, Yaddo, and New York University. She has a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She teaches at the University of San Francisco.
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