FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BookPage · BuzzFeed · Chicago Tribune · Kirkus Reviews · NPR · San Francisco Chronicle · Slate · Toronto Star · The Washington Post
She has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Now Kelly Link’s eagerly awaited new collection—her first for adult readers in a decade—proves indelibly that this bewitchingly original writer is among the finest we have.
Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. In “The New Boyfriend,” a suburban slumber party takes an unusual turn, and a teenage friendship is tested, when the spoiled birthday girl opens her big present: a life-size animated doll.
Hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the Pyramids . . . These are just some of the talismans of an imagination as capacious and as full of wonder as that of any writer today. But as fantastical as these stories can be, they are always grounded by sly humor and an innate generosity of feeling for the frailty—and the hidden strengths—of human beings. In Get in Trouble, this one-of-a-kind talent expands the boundaries of what short fiction can do.
Praise for Get in Trouble
“Ridiculously brilliant . . . These stories make you laugh while staring into the void.”—The Boston Globe
“When it comes to literary magic, Link is the real deal: clever, surprising, affecting, fluid and funny.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“With every tale [Link] conjures a different universe, each more captivating than the last. . . . You’ll long to return the minute you leave. [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Marvelous . . . As a writer Kelly Link is possessed of many magical powers, but to me what’s most notable about [Get in Trouble] is its astonishing freedom.”—Meg Wolitzer, NPR
“Sensational . . . Remain in your narrative comfort zone, or venture into Link’s uncharted sea of troubles. Come on. Live a little.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“This is art that re-enchants the world. Who needs tediously believable situations, O. Henry endings or even truthfulness to life? Give us magic; give us wonder.”—The Washington Post
“The stories here are effective because we believe them—not just their situations but also their hearts.”—Los Angeles Times
“A zero-gravity vacation in a dust jacket.”—Chicago Tribune
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: When the term magical realism is mentioned, it’s not uncommon for it to conjure an eye roll. There is a limited but esteemed number of writers who can pull this genre off well, and Kelly Link fits in nicely among them. She has drawn comparisons to likes of Margaret Atwood, and I would even say Angela Carter. To be sure, Get in Trouble possesses the same sort of dark, crackling wit that is a signature of their works. But Link is in a league all her own. Standouts in this short story collection are the “Summer People,” where an unwitting caretaker finds herself beholden to mischievous fairies (just go with me, here), the melancholy “Origin Story” about a woman and her erstwhile lover (who happens to be a superhero), and the less wondrously weird but affecting “The Lesson” that follows a worried gay couple anticipating the birth of their first child. For all the fantastical elements, Link’s stories dexterously explore the gamut of human emotion. This is Trouble you will enjoy getting into. –Erin KodicekAbout the Author:
Kelly Link is the author of the collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Link was born in Miami, Florida. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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