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Acts of God

By Ellen Gilchrist

Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
272
Publication Date
April 08, 2014
ISBN
9781616203955

Description

“The stories in Acts of God are great postcards from the world of Ellen Gilchrist. It’s a world of war and strife and surprises, and it is, yes, marvelous to behold.” —The New York Times Book Review

Celebrated short story writer Ellen Gilchrist, winner of the National Book Award for Victory Over Japan, returns with her first collection in more than eight years. In Acts of God, she has created ten diverse scenarios populated by characters dealing with forces beyond their control, yet somehow managing to survive, persevere, and triumph--even if it is only a triumph of the will. Wholly believable characters in all-too-real situations are given vivid life in these stories told with Ellen Gilchrist’s clear-eyed optimism and salty sense of humor.

“A master of short fiction . . . [Gilchrist] is as sharp, funny and insightful as ever.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Gilchrist still has the power to turn a simple line into a profound insight on what it’s like to be human.” —Flavorpill.com

“Reading Ellen Gilchrist is addictive . . . Her new work is filled with good people who show fortitude and even heroism under duress . . . In this age of edgy irony, her warm-hearted view of humanity is refreshing.” —NPR.org

“Gilchrist is at her best when the wry and satirical mood strikes her . . . and it’s a pleasure to report that the best of the stories in Acts of God rank with the best in her first collection and in her second, . . . for which she was awarded a richly deserved National Book Award.” —The Washington Post

 

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Review quotes

“[Gilchrist’s] style can be an acquired taste. If I were you, I’d acquire it . . . Gilchrist manages to cut through the loud tussle of the world to present truths made even more striking by how conventional they are . . . The stories in Acts of God are great postcards from the world of Ellen Gilchrist. It’s a world of war and strife and surprises, and it is, yes, marvelous to behold.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Admirers of her work, among whom I am most certainly to be counted, will find much herein that is familiar and pleasing . . . Gilchrist is at her best when the wry and satirical mood strikes her, especially when she is pricking the balloons of pride that the white Southern upper middle class inflates in its own honor. Now in her late 70s, she has lost none of the zing that brought In the Land of Dreamy Dreams to such wholly unexpected attention, and it’s a pleasure to report that the best of the stories in Acts of God rank with the best in her first collection and in her second, Victory Over Japan, for which she was awarded a richly deserved National Book Award in 1984.” —The Washington Post

“Flawlessly precise.” —ReadersDigest.com

“Reading Ellen Gilchrist is addictive . . . Partly, it's the sassy voice that snares you, and partly it's her tight circle of recurrent characters--feisty, unabashedly sexed Southern women, many of whom are related by birth or marriage . . . Her new work is filled with good people who show fortitude and even heroism under duress . . . In this age of edgy irony, her warm-hearted view of humanity is refreshing.” —NPR.org

“A joy to read. Her protagonists all feel very alive and real.” —Bust

“[Gilchrist’s] protagonists are generally beautiful and strong, sometimes shallow and often deeply flawed--but they’re always interesting, especially when they’re tested . . . In Acts of God, though, they learn a lesson that Gilchrist’s characters often don’t: that even the rich and the powerful, the quick-witted and the good-looking are vulnerable to storms and disasters, to illness and aging and death . . . These 10 new stories remind the reader we’re all vulnerable to chance, whether it’s a hurricane or a love affair. And these characters, the old ones and the new, settle seamlessly into Gilchrist’s seductive Southern world.” —Houston Chronicle

“The stories are laced through with good humor and hints of the miraculous . . . There is something--a magic that’s difficult to clarify, that may be corny in someone else’s eyes--to Gilchrist’s work that doesn’t come around often . . . Gilchrist still has the power to turn a simple line into a profound insight on what it’s like to be human. Aging and death are the twin ghouls running throughout Acts of God, looming over the characters, and the result of looking into the void gives these stories wisdom and compassion, or to quote Gilchrist: ‘Glad to be alive in the only world there is, alive and eating and still breathing and not afraid really of anything that might happen next.’” —Flavorpill.com 

“Gilchrist’s deliciously wise and humorous voice abides best in the short story form, and her new collection of 10 stories will say to her fans that their reconnection to this openhearted writer from the South is a pure old-home-week experience . . . Beautiful, smart, phenomenally rich.” —Booklist (starred review)

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Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
272
Publication Date
April 08, 2014
ISBN
9781616203955

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