With these thirteen transfixing, ingenious stories, Ben Marcus gives us timely dystopian visions of alienation in a modern world—cosmically and comically apt. Never has existential catastrophe been so much fun.
In "The Grow-Light Blues," a hapless, corporate drone finds love after being disfigured 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.
In the bizarre but instantly recognizable universe of Ben Marcus's fiction, characters encounter both surreal new illnesses and equally surreal new cures. Marcus writes beautifully, hilariously, and obsessively, about sex and death, lust and shame, the indignities of the body, and the full parade of human folly. A heartbreaking collection of stories that showcases the author's compassion, tenderness, and mordant humor—blistering, beautiful work from a modern master.
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About Ben Marcus
Ben Marcus is the author of The Flame Alphabet, Notable American Women, The Father Costume, and The Age of Wire and String. His writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Salon, McSweeney’s, the Paris Review, Harper’s, and others. He is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and has served as the guest editor of Guernica magazine. He is a 2009 recipient of a grant for Innovative Literature from the Creative Capital Foundation and has also received the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, the Whiting Writers Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. Marcus is a former professor at Brown University and is now a faculty member at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
About the Narrators
Rebecca Gibel is an award-winning stage, television, and voice actress. The narrator of over fifty audiobooks, Rebecca is facile in a wide variety of genres. Rebecca has worked across the country at theaters such as Trinity Rep, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Intiman Theatre, and the Arden Theatre Company. She holds a BA from the College of William & Mary and an MFA in acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep.
Charlie Thurston is an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He holds an MFA in acting from Brown University / Trinity Rep and has appeared on stages across the country with Trinity Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Creede Rep, and at Riverside Theatre and Redmoon Theater, among others. His favorite roles include Edgar in The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen in The Long Christmas Ride Home, Tuzenbach in The Three Sisters, and Tony in You Can’t Take It with You.