Death Is Not an Option: Stories

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 5, 2010 - Fiction - 224 pages
3 Reviews

“Ruthlessly frank. . . . Recalls Holden Caulfield by way of John Hughes.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

In these stories, a teacher obsesses over a student who comes to class with scratch marks on his face; a Catholic girl graduating high school finds a warped kind of redemption in her school’s contrived class rituals; and a woman looking to rent a house is sucked into a strangely inappropriate correspondence with one of the landlords. These are just a few of the powerful plotlines in Suzanne Rivecca’s gorgeously wrought collection. From a college student who adopts a false hippie persona to find love, to a young memoirist who bumps up against a sexually obsessed fan, the characters in these fiercely original tales grapple with what it means to be honest with themselves and the world.

These stories explode “with piercing insight . . . illuminating the dangerous dance between victims and saviors. [They] deliver us to the edge of grief, that precarious place where the moral compass spins—where codes of love and law and religion fail. Mercy here depends on a tiger’s sublime grace, our capacity to resist deeper harm, and the right of every broken being to remain silent” (Melanie Rae Thon).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hebephrene - LibraryThing

Astonishing. One of the best new collections I have read in a long time. She is enormously talented and these stories are beautifully crafted, fresh, exciting and powerful. She is a young Mary ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbill - LibraryThing

There is a lot to like here, Rivecca writes well and the seven short stories are fresh and original, though a little dark and not for all. The first story, “death is not an option”, put me off a bit ... Read full review


death is not an option
yours will do nicely
it sounds like youre feeling
look ma im breathing 136
consummation 174
none of the above 192

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About the author (2010)

Suzanne Rivecca’s fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices 2009, among other publications. A winner of the Pushcart Prize and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she lives in San Francisco.

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