“Deadpan, absurd, lyrical, and often gleefully morose. . . Read, obsessively re-read, and then carry around all fall in backpockets or tote bag as talismanic accessory advertising your smart-cool weirdness.” —Vanity Fair, “7 September Books We’ve Been Waiting All Year For”
“By turns moving, funny, and maddening….These stories are very much in the key of Donald Barthelme…with touches of Nicholson Baker’s fascination with the microscopic and the nostalgic….They regularly embed a fragment of wisdom, a brilliantly turned phrase, or a laugh-inducing one-liner.” —Teddy Wayne, The New York Times Book Review
"A surreal and at times laugh-out-loud collection of short stories" —The Wall Street Journal
"This new collection of stories. . . is somehow both grounded and absurd, each one of the stories trying get at that heart of the confusion and sadness at the core of contemporary life."—VICE
From the highly acclaimed author of Edisto and The Interrogative Mood, Padgett Powell’s new collection, Cries for Help, Various, is lofty and low, cranky and heartfelt, exuberant and inconsolable. These forty-four often very short stories playfully and pointedly invert Southern literary standards, and no trope is safe from Powell’s irreverent, inimitable wit. He skillfully subverts and experiments with form, plot, style, and our preoccupation with a happy ending.
Even at their most hilarious or fantastical, the stories in Cries for Help, Various ring poignantly true, proving once again Padgett Powell’s place as “one of the few truly important American writers of our time” (Sam Lipsyte).
Trade paperback original with french flaps.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Padgett Powell is the author of six novels, including You & Me, The Interrogative Mood, and Edisto (a finalist for the National Book Award), and two collections of stories. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Paris Review, as well as in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Sports Writing. He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Powell lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he co-directs and teaches at the MFA@FLA, the writing program of the University of Florida.