Farewell Navigator: Stories

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Oct 18, 2011 - Fiction - 224 pages
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In this dazzling premier collection, Leni Zumas shines a bright light into the far corners of a dark, dreamlike America populated by a cast of characters on the brink of survival. With the Gothic style of Flannery O’Connor, the urgent lyricism of Jayne Anne Phillips, and the quirky humor of Sam Lipsyte and George Saunders, Zumas blends a lyrical, poetic voice with remarkably original storytelling. A teenage boy finds his blind mother making a pass at his new best friend; a lonely woman works in a pillow factory by day and at night tends to a menagerie of sick animals; an aspiring witch is disillusioned by her spiritual shortcomings; a girl from a town so small it doesn’t exist on any map runs away with a rock band. The odds stacked against them, these lovingly rendered outsiders find redemption in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Zumas so skillfully intertwines the utterly fantastic with the absolutely believable that the reader has no choice but to follow in fascination and wonder. Even the most surreal moments take on a surprising familiarity, and the bleakest moments are imbued with unexpected hope. To become engrossed in Zumas’s world is a strange and beautiful delight.
 

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User Review  - kyuuketsukirui - LibraryThing

This is the worst book I've read in a long time. The stories are full of themselves, dripping with this "ooh, I'm so deep because I write about X" feeling, yet they're so fake, like the author ... Read full review

Contents

I
9
II
19
III
29
IV
49
V
61
VI
81
VII
101
VIII
113
IX
133
X
145
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About the author (2011)

Leni Zumas was born in 1972 and grew up in Washington, DC. Her fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, New Orleans Review, Stand, The Journal, Carve, So to Speak, and other magazines. She is a winner of the AWP Intro Journals Award for Short Fiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts–Amherst MFA Program, she has received fellowships from Yaddo, Hedgebrook, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Millay Colony. She is associate director of the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at Hunter College. She plays drums in the rock band S-S-S-Spectres.

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