The Ugliest House in the World
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Peter Ho Davies is a young writer of unusually worldly perspective. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he writes stories that not only reflect his multinational heritage, but delight in odd juxtapositions. In tales that travel from Coventry to Kuala Lumpur, from the past to the present, and from hilarity to tragedy, American bandits herd ostriches in Patagonia, British soldiers confront Zulus in Natal, and John Wayne leads the way for local revolutionaries in Southeast Asia. These are stories in which small lives are affected by consequential events. In "A Union," a prolonged strike at a Welsh slate quarry plays mystifying tricks of time on a couple expecting a baby. In "The Silver Screen," ragtag rebels join a communist revolution with all the flair of the Keystone Kops. In the heartbreaking title story, a rural community in North Wales copes with the accidental death of a child and learns the reaches of guilt. With their deep vein of humanism and pointed humor, the stories
Praise For The Ugliest House in the World: Stories…
"The eight stories in this first collection from British-born Oregonian Davies promise to keep you on your toes. They start benignly, often comically, but inevitably there comes a moment when, with the briefest of phrases, Davies startles the reader with a sudden turn down some melancholy and treacherous path." Publishers Weekly
"Rarely have ordinary mortals been so affectionately portrayed as they stumble into the jaws of history and cultural collision. Davies is a writer to behold with real pleasure." - Gish Jen
Mariner Books, 9780395924808, 240pp.
Publication Date: November 4, 1998
About the Author
PETER HO DAVIES’ novel, The Fortunes, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and a London Times Best Seller, as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His fiction has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review and Granta and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories.