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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Summer 2019

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Notes from the Fog
By (author): Ben Marcus
9781101971680 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jul 09, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.14 x 7.99 x 0.82 in 288 pages Vintage
Never has existential catastrophe been as fun as in Ben Marcus’s transfixing, ingenious stories: a collection of timely dystopian visions of alienation in a modern world.

In the bizarre but instantly recognizable universe of Ben Marcus’s fiction, characters encounter both surreal new illnesses and equally surreal new cures. In “The Grow-Light Blues,” a hapless, corporate drone finds love after being disfigured from testing his employer’s newest nutrition supplement—the enhanced glow from his computer monitor. A father finds himself outcast from his family when he starts to suspect that his son’s precocity has turned sinister in the chilling “Cold Little Bird.” In “Blueprints for St. Louis,” two architects in a flailing marriage consider the ethics of artificially inciting emotion in mourners at their latest assignment—a memorial to a terrorist attack. Together, the thirteen short stories in this collection showcase Marcus’s compassion, tenderness, and mordant humor: a blistering, beautiful work from a modern master.

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Marcus is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, as well as numerous other awards and fellowships. He’s also on the faculty at Columbia University and has had his own fiction, essays, and reviews published in just about every esteemed magazine you could name. He continues to be one of the most visible and highly lauded short story writers in America.

GENRE-BUSTING, MIND-BLOWING: Like his contemporaries Karen Russell, George Saunders, and Kelly Link, Marcus combines luminous literary prose, sharp wit, and surreal but socially illuminating ideas to grapple with sex and death, lust and shame, the indignities of the body, and the full parade of human folly. Each story takes a big juicy bite out of the modern world.

MASTER OF THE CRAFT: Marcus edited New American Stories, the recent Vintage anthology of contemporary short fiction, cementing his reputation as the form’s most ardent champion and practitioner.

NEW STORIES: All but three of these stories are brand new to this collection—it’s a fresh and timely read.

BEN MARCUS is the author of four books of fiction—The Age of Wire and String, Notable American Women, The Flame Alphabet, and Leaving the Sea—and is the editor of two short story anthologies: The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and New American Stories. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Believer, The New York Times, and Tablet. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, and three Pushcart Prizes. He lives with his family in New York City, where he is on the faculty at Columbia University.

Author Residence: New York City

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“An engrossing, poetically surreal writer [who’s] often woundingly funny…. [Marcus’s] sentences deserve to be lingered over.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exceptional…. Each story is quietly eerie with electric characters who move through settings that look and sound exactly like our reality but are subtly disoriented, as if in a trick mirror.”—The Paris Review

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