Days of Awe: Stories (Paperback)
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“With dark humor and sharp dialogue, Homes plumbs the depths of everyday American anxieties.” —Time
A razor-sharp story collection from a writer who is always "furiously good" (Zadie Smith, bestselling author of Swing Time).
With her signature humor and compassion, A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection - exploring our attachments to each other through characters who aren't quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.
In "A Prize for Every Player," a man is nominated to run for president by the customers of a big box store, while he and his family do their weekly shopping. At a conference on genocide(s) in the title story, old friends rediscover themselves and one another - finding spiritual and physical comfort in ancient traditions. And in "Hello Everybody" and "She Got Away," Homes revisits a Los Angeles family obsessed with the surfaces and frightened of what lives below.
In the nearly three decades since her seminal debut collection The Safety of Objects, Homes has been celebrated by readers and critics alike as one of our boldest and most original writers, acclaimed for her psychological accuracy and "satire so close to the truth it's terrifying" (Ali Smith). Her first book since the Women's Prize-winning May We Be Forgiven, Days of Awe is a major new addition to her body of visionary, fearless, outrageously funny work.
About the Author
A. M. Homes is the author of the memoir The Mistress's Daughter and the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the story collections The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know. She lives in New York City.
Praise for Days of Awe:
“A.M. Homes skillfully circles and tugs at the question of what it means to live in flawed, fragile, hungry human bodies . . . DAYS OF AWE is sliced through with Homes’s dark humor . . . one wants to read passages of a Homes story aloud because they are so fine . . . DAYS OF AWE feels like the part of the day when the sun is about to go down and the light is brighter while the shadows are darker. Everything has a sharp edge, is strikingly beautiful and suddenly also a little menacing.”—Ramona Ausubel, The New York Times Book Review
“Exuberantly transgressive.”—O, the Oprah Magazine
“[Homes] has shown a unique penchant for cracking open the dark heart of human nature — with irreverent wit, devastating empathy and haunting shocks . . . DAYS OF AWE [is] a memorable assortment of new tales about family, love, death, and an unqualified man who somehow stumbles into becoming a populist political candidate.” —Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon
“Homes’s keen ear for speech—surreal as her characters’ conversations often are—lends itself to varying degrees of self-aware misunderstanding, highlighting the complexity of language and the challenges . . . The impossibility of knowing another person completely is one of life’s painful truths, and [this] collection remind us of that—but [it] also shows that there are, at least, tools available to help us try.”—Vanity Fair
“Fascinating . . . I consumed these stories exactly like a spectator of a good fight or a neighbor peering through the hedge, and I felt sharply observed in turn. Homes, with her fierce sharp wit, reveals her characters’ deep flaws. No one gets away with anything and the spectacle is delightful.” —Molly Livingston, The Paris Review Daily
"With dark humor and sharp dialogue, Homes plumbs the depths of everyday American anxieties through stories about unexpected situations." — Time
“In the title story, a Holocaust survivor taps into a theme of the collection when he describes the way people hold the history of previous generations inside them. ‘We carry it with us, not just in our grandmother’s silver,’ he says, ‘but in our bodies, the cells of our hearts.’” —Wall Street Journal
“Versatile and imaginative, Homes bring her literary daring and prowess . . . to short stories . . . In her third provocative story collection, she displays her command of the viciously realistic and the pointedly surreal, the comic and the tragic. A master of honed dialogue—play-like in their momentum, many of these tales have an Edward Albee aura—Homes is also potently visual and acknowledges artists who inspire her . . . [It] is the searing precision of her language and her profound and thorny concerns that infuse these unpredictable tales with their unnerving power . . . Virtuoso Homes, aligned with Grace Paley, Joy Williams, and Lydia Millet, is fierce, witty, defining, and compassionate. ”— Booklist, Starred Review
“With her signature humor and compassion, A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection – exploring our attachments to each other through characters who aren’t quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.” — Chicago Review of Books
Praise for May We Be Forgiven:
“An entertaining, old-fashioned American story about second chances...A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart...May We Be Forgiven [is] deeply imbued with the kind of It's A Wonderful Life-type belief in redemption that we Americans will always be suckers for, and rightly so.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
Praise for The Mistress's Daughter:
“A compelling, devastating, and furiously good book written with an honesty few of us would risk.” —Zadie Smith, bestselling author of Swing Time
“Rich in humanity and humor ... Homes combines an unfussy candor with a deliciously droll, quirky wit ... her energy and urgency become infectious.” —USA Today
Additional Praise for A.M. Homes:
“I started reading A.M. Homes twenty years ago. Wild and funny, questioning and true, she is a writer to go travelling with on the journey called life.” —Jeanette Winterson, bestselling author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
“A.M. Homes has long been one of our most important and original writers of fiction. May We Be Forgiven is her most ambitious as well as her most accessible novel to date; sex and violence invade the routines of suburban domestic life in a way that reminded me of The World According to Garp, although in the end it's a thoroughly original work of imagination.” —Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City