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We're pleased to welcome Dorthe Nors & J. Robert Lennon to our At Home with Literati Series in support of their recent collections for a reading and conversation.
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About Wild Swims: A dazzling return to the short story by a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize
In fourteen effervescent stories, Dorthe Nors plumbs the depths of the human heart, from desire to melancholy and everything in between. Just as she did in her English-language debut, Karate Chop, Nors slices straight to the core of the conflict in only a few pages. But Wild Swims expands the borders of her gaze, following people as they travel through Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.
Here are portraits of men and women full of restless longing, people who are often seeking a home but rarely finding it. A lie told during a fraught ferry ride on the North Sea becomes a wound that festers between school friends. A writer at a remote cabin befriends the mother of an ex-lover. Two friends knock doors to solicit fraudulent donations for the cancer society. A woman taken with the idea of wild swims ventures as far as the local swimming pool.
These stories have already been featured in the pages of New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Tin House, and A Public Space. They sound the darker tones of human nature and yet find the brighter chords of hope and humor as well. Cutting and offbeat without ever losing its warmth, Wild Swims is a master class in concision and restraint, and a path to living life without either. With Wild Swims Nors's star will continue to be ascendant.
Dorthe Nors is the author of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize; So Much for That Winter; Karate Chop, the winner of the Per Olov Enquist Literary Prize; and four other novels. She lives in Denmark.
About Let Me Think: A new collection of short fiction by the author of the cult classic Pieces for the Left Hand
Let Me Think is a meticulous selection of short stories by one of the preeminent chroniclers of the American absurd. Through J. Robert Lennon's mordant yet sympathetic eye, the quotidian realities of marriage, family, and work are rendered powerfully strange in this rich and innovative collection.
These stories, most no more than a few pages, are at once experimental and compulsively readable, the work of an expert craftsman who can sketch whole lives in a mere handful of lines, or reveal, over pages, the boundless complexity of a passing thought. Here you'll find a heist gone wrong, a case of mistaken identity, a hostile encounter with a neighborhood eccentric, a glass eye, a talking owl, and a six-fingered hand. Whatever the subject, Lennon disarms the reader with humor before pivoting to pathos, pain, and disappointment--most notably in an extraordinary sequence of darting, painfully funny fictions about a disintegrating marriage that captures the myriad ways intimacy can fail us, and the ways that we can fail it.
Like Lennon's earlier story collection Pieces for the Left Hand, Let Me Think holds a mirror up to our long-held grudges and secret desires, our petty resentments and moments of redeeming grace, and confirms him as a virtuoso of the form.