A Stranger in this World

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Doubleday, 1994 - Fiction - 180 pages
2 Reviews
A Stranger in This World marks the debut of a powerful new talent. With a voice akin to those of Denis Johnson and Richard Ford, westerner Kevin Canty is a versatile and intelligent writer whose stories both shock and transfix. In this extraordinary collection, he portrays - with frightening calm - the unpredictable darkness of everyday life.
Canty describes territory we all know well, but with a twist; his characters live on the verge of the unthinkable. Each voice rings unforgettably true: in "Pretty Judy," a young boy is caught in an obsessive sexual relationship with a mentally retarded neighbor; in "The Victim," a telephone sales operator's chance encounter with a deranged drunken driver leads her and her boyfriend to unimaginable actions. From the misadventures of an alcoholic plant worker trying to go straight ("Junk") to a stoned suburban lifeguard whose fantasies about a Mrs. Robinson-like older woman almost result in tragedy ("Blue Boy"), in this gripping and original collection Canty invites the reader into an uncharted world of risk-taking and danger.
Disturbing yet compellingly readable, these stories explore the gap between disappointment and hope, between life as it could be and life as it is, between - as the narrator of "The King of the Elephants" sees it - a horizon "full of Western stars, cold and distinct," and "this mottled, milky Southern sky."

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A stranger in this world

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In his first collection of stories, Canty depicts nightmarish events and situations encroaching on ordinary lives. His restrained tone underscores the sense of horrible inevitability; the reader ... Read full review

Review: A Stranger in This World: Stories

User Review  - Stephanie - Goodreads

A beautiful collection...difficult, discomfiting, haunting...glad I took my time with this one. Read full review


moonbeams and aspirin

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About the author (1994)

Kevin Canty is teacher at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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