Touchy Subjects: Stories (Hardcover)


By Emma Donoghue

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151013869, 288pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2006



In this sparkling collection of nineteen stories, the bestselling author of Slammerkin returns to contemporary affairs, exposing the private dilemmas that result from some of our most public controversies. A man finds God and finally wants to father a child-only his wife is now forty-two years old. A coach's son discovers his sexuality on the football field. A roommate's bizarre secret liberates a repressed young woman. From the unforeseen consequences of a polite social lie to the turmoil caused by the hair on a woman's chin, Donoghue dramatizes the seemingly small acts upon which our lives often turn. Many of these stories involve animals and what they mean to us, or babies and whether to have them; some replay biblical plots in modern contexts. With characters old, young, straight, gay, and simply confused, Donoghue dazzles with her range and her ability to touch lightly but delve deeply into the human condition.

Praise For Touchy Subjects: Stories

"Every now and again, a writer comes along with a fully loaded brain and a nature so fanciful that she simply must spin out truly original and transporting stuff. To get lost in a book by one of these rare folks is to experience true happiness-and genuine relief that we can access such eccentric, untethered genius on a page, instead of, say, in person across the breakfast table. Emma Donoghue is such a writer."

"Virtually every tale in TOUCHY SUBJECTS is lucid, concise, clever and poignant.  Roaming the globe, from many walks of life, bearing their painful and wonderful aspects alike, Donoghue''s characters will remind readers of themselves in the here and now."

"All of Donoghue''s stories are lucid and well paced...written over a number of years, these stories demonstrate considerable versatility...It''s evident she likes her characters, and you probably will too."
-Tibor Fischer

"Lucid contemporary takes in a variety of styles, with humor ascendant." (Editors'' Choice)