The Beautiful Bureaucrat

A Novel

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Author: Helen Phillips

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1627793771

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 9096

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2015 NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by Time Out, Bustle, The Atlantic, Electric Literature, Kobo, Kirkus and more... "Riveting... thrillerlike...drolly surreal...Ultimately, The Beautiful Bureaucrat succeeds because it isn't afraid to ask the deepest questions." The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice "A joyride..." -Karen Russell NAMED A MUST READ OF THE SUMMER by the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Bustle, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, HelloGiggles and more... A young wife's new job pits her against the unfeeling machinations of the universe in a first novel Ursula K. Le Guin hails as "funny, sad, scary, beautiful. I love it." In a windowless building in a remote part of town, the newly employed Josephine inputs an endless string of numbers into something known only as The Database. After a long period of joblessness, she's not inclined to question her fortune, but as the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings-the office's scarred pinkish walls take on a living quality, the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread. As other strange events build to a crescendo, the haunting truth about Josephine's work begins to take shape in her mind, even as something powerful is gathering its own form within her. She realizes that in order to save those she holds most dear, she must penetrate an institution whose tentacles seem to extend to every corner of the city and beyond. Both chilling and poignant, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is a novel of rare restraint and imagination. With it, Helen Phillips enters the company of Murakami, Bender, and Atwood as she twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder-luminous and new.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat

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Author: Helen Phillips

Publisher: Pushkin Press

ISBN: 1782273336

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 7108

Part modern fairytale, part existentialist thriller, this is a breathtaking joyride of a novel for the summer If the job market hadn't been so bleak during that long, humid summer, Josephine might have been discouraged from taking the administrative position in a windowless building in a remote part of town. As the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings - the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls, her boss has terrible breath, and there are cockroaches in the bath of her sub-let. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread. Both chilling and poignant, this novel asks the biggest questions about marriage and fidelity, birth and death. Helen Phillips twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder - luminous and new. Helen Phillips is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, the Italo Calvino Prize and more. She is the author of the widely acclaimed The Beautiful Bureaucrat. Her debut collection And Yet They Were Happy was named a notable book by The Story Prize. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, and The New York Times. An assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

Some Possible Solutions

Stories

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Author: Helen Phillips

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1627793801

Category: Fiction

Page: 256

View: 9499

In a spine-tingling new collection, the “unique”(NPR) and “wickedly funny” (New York Times) Helen Phillips offers an idiosyncratic series of “what-ifs” about our fragile human condition. Some Possible Solutions offers an idiosyncratic series of "What ifs": What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet? What if you could suddenly see through everybody's skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgangers of you? Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips' characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world. We meet a wealthy woman who purchases a high-tech sex toy in the shape of a man, a rowdy, moody crew of college students who resolve the energy crisis, and orphaned twin sisters who work as futuristic strippers--and with Phillips' characteristic smarts and imagination, we see that no one is quite who they appear. By turns surreal, witty, and perplexing, these marvelous stories are ultimately a reflection of our own reality and of the big questions that we all face. Who are we? Where do we fit? Phillips is a true original and a treasure.

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green

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Author: Helen Phillips

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 0307974871

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 304

View: 8852

Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me, said this book is "brimming with surprises and grand adventure. Brave, smart, and full of heart, Madeline and Ruby are a gust of fresh air." Mad's dad is the Bird Guy. He'll go anywhere to study birds. So when he's offered a bird-tracking job in Central America, his bags are packed and he's jungle bound. But going bird tracking in the jungle and disappearing completely are very different things, and when the Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letter arrives, Mad can't shake the terrible feeling that her father is in trouble. Roo, Mad's younger sister, is convinced that the letter is a coded message. And their mom is worried, because the letter doesn't sound like Dad at all. But Mad is sure it's a sign of something sinister. The only way to get to the bottom of it is to go to Lava Bird Volcano and find their dad themselves. Though they never could have imagined what they're about to discover. From new talent Helen Phillips, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green is the story of what can happen when two sisters make some unusual friends, trust in each other, and bravely face a jungle of trouble all to bring their family back together. From the Hardcover edition.

Angels of Destruction

A Novel

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Author: Keith Donohue

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307450272

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 6047

Keith Donohue’s first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller hailed as “captivating” (USA Today), “luminous and thrilling” (Washington Post), and “wonderful...So spare and unsentimental that it’s impossible not to be moved (Newsweek. His new novel, Angels of Destruction, opens on a winter’s night, when a young girl appears at the home of Mrs. Margaret Quinn, a widow who lives alone. A decade earlier, she had lost her only child, Erica, who fled with her high school sweetheart to join a radical student group known as the Angels of Destruction. Before Margaret answers the knock in the dark hours, she whispers a prayer and then makes her visitor welcome at the door. The girl, who claims to be nine years old and an orphan with no place to go, beguiles Margaret, offering some solace, some compensation, for the woman’s loss. Together, they hatch a plan to pass her off as her newly found granddaughter, Norah Quinn, and enlist Sean Fallon, a classmate and heartbroken boy, to guide her into the school and town. Their conspiracy is vulnerable not only to those children and neighbors intrigued by Norah’s mysterious and magical qualities but by a lone figure shadowing the girl who threatens to reveal the child’s true identity and her purpose in Margaret’s life. Who are these strangers really? And what is their connection to the past, the Angels, and the long-missing daughter? Angels of Destruction is an unforgettable story of hope and fear, heartache and redemption. The saga of the Quinn family unfolds against an America wracked by change. As it delicately dances on the line between the real and the imagined, this mesmerizing new novel confirms Keith Donohue’s standing as one of our most inspiring and inventive novelists. From the Hardcover edition.

Barbarians to Bureaucrats

Corporate Life Cycle Strategies : Lessons from the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

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Author: Lawrence M. Miller

Publisher: Fawcett

ISBN: 0449905268

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 232

View: 745

Using actual examples from history, this is a brilliant and irreverent piece of business writing. The strategies offered in this indispensable guide will help managers avoid the pitfalls of their predecessors, and help employees cope with all kinds of bosses.

And Yet They Were Happy

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Author: Helen Phillips

Publisher: Leaplit

ISBN: 9781935248187

Category: Fiction

Page: 309

View: 338

A young couple comes of age in a surreal world of apocalypse, delight, longing, and tenderness.

The Sleep Garden

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Author: Jim Krusoe

Publisher: Tin House Books

ISBN: 1941040195

Category: Fiction

Page: 176

View: 5258

The Sleep Garden explores and pushes the boundaries between fact and imagination, real and surreal, and life and the afterlife. In an underground apartment building called “the Burrow”--essentially purgatory—“twilight souls” inhabit the space between life and death. Interwoven with their stories are those of inhabitants of the living world: a retired sea captain, a psychotic former child actor (possibly the sea captain’s illegitimate son?), and the technicians who monitor the Burrow, making sure its occupants have a constant supply of oxygen and food. Through all of their stories, and the ways in which their lives, past and present, intertwine, Krusoe creates a poignant story about what constitutes a life, what remains when we die, and what we possibly carry with us into the next world.

The Solace of Monsters

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Author: Laurie Blauner

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781935248880

Category: Fiction

Page: 200

View: 2940

Mara, a young Frankenstein, leaves home to find herself, but discovers she is not the only one struggling with self-identity.

The Floating World

A Novel

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Author: C. Morgan Babst

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 1616207639

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 713

“Set in New Orleans, this important and powerful novel follows the Boisdoré family . . . in the months after Katrina. A profound, moving and authentically detailed picture of the storm’s emotional impact on those who lived through it.” —People In this dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, C. Morgan Babst takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina and the life of a great city. As the storm is fast approaching the Louisiana coast, Cora Boisdoré refuses to leave the city. Her parents, Joe Boisdoré, an artist descended from freed slaves who became the city’s preeminent furniture makers, and his white “Uptown” wife, Dr. Tess Eshleman, are forced to evacuate without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and Cora catatonic—the victim or perpetrator of some violence mysterious even to herself. This mystery is at the center of Babst’s haunting and profound novel. Cora’s sister, Del, returns to New Orleans from the successful life she built in New York City to find her hometown in ruins and her family deeply alienated from one another. As Del attempts to figure out what happened to her sister, she must also reckon with the racial history of the city and the trauma of a disaster that was not, in fact, some random act of God but an avoidable tragedy visited on New Orleans’s most vulnerable citizens. Separately and together, each member of the Boisdoré clan must find the strength to remake home in a city forever changed. The Floating World is the Katrina story that needed to be told—one with a piercing, unforgettable loveliness and a vivid, intimate understanding of this particular place and its tangled past.

Autumn

A Novel

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Author: Ali Smith

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 1101870745

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 3848

MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST A New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Financial Times, Southern Living, The Guardian, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year Long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That's what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever. Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet—four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)—and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d’esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making. Here’s where we’re living. Here’s time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic. From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves.

All That Followed

A Novel

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Author: Gabriel Urza

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1627792430

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 9491

"A bold, stunning book...The reader is drawn in not because we want to find out what happened, but why it happened..."--NPR A psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a debut novel that the New York Times Book Review calls "a triumph." It's 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain's northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician-a family man and father-and the town's rhythms have almost returned to normal. But in the aftermath of the Atocha train bombings in Madrid, an act of terrorism that rocked a nation and a world, the townspeople want a reckoning of Muriga's own troubled past: Everyone knows who pulled the trigger five years ago, but is the young man now behind bars the only one to blame? All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular-the councilman's beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own-hold the key to what really happened. And for these three, it's finally time to confront what they can find of the truth. Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect. Urgent, elegant, and gorgeously atmospheric, Urza's debut is a book for the world we live in now, and it marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer to watch.

In Her Absence

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Author: Antonio Munoz Molina

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

ISBN: 1590516192

Category: Fiction

Page: 144

View: 2643

"[A] translucent novel of passion, illusion and social class....slyly witty and luminous." —Francine Prose in O, The Oprah Magazine During working hours, Mario is a dutiful bureaucrat, scrupulously earning his paycheck as an employee of the provincial Spanish town where he lives. But when he walks through the door of his apartment, he is transformed into the impassioned lover of Blanca, the beautiful, inscrutable wife he saved from the brink of personal crisis. For the love of Blanca, Mario eats sushi and carpaccio, nods in feigned understanding at experimental films, sits patiently through long conversations with her avant-garde friends, and conceals his disgust at shocking art exhibits. Then, little by little, a strange and ominous threat begins to weigh on the marriage. How can love survive its own disappearance? The desperate answer that Antonio Muñoz Molina proposes in this short, circular novella is a model of literary strategy and style, a splendid homage to Flaubert.

Radio Iris

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Author: Anne-Marie Kinney

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780983247173

Category: Fiction

Page: 209

View: 7522

Radio Iris deals with watercooler culture in an artful and existential way, delivering an eerie allegory of our modern recession.

A House Without Mirrors

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Author: Marten Sanden

Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books

ISBN: 1782690379

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 192

View: 5492

A moving ghost story that explores the overcoming of loss, and how to move on Thomasine has spent months living in her great-great-aunt's dusty, dark house with her father, and her aunt, uncle and cousins. While her father's siblings bicker about how much the house must be worth, her distant, elderly aunt is upstairs, dying, and her father has disappeared inside himself, still mourning the death of Thomasine's little brother. But one day, her youngest cousin makes a discovery: a wardrobe, filled with all the mirrors missing from the big house. And through the mirrors, a different world - one in which you can find not what you most wish for, but perhaps what you most need... A beautiful tale of love, grief and growing up, A House Without Mirrors is an unforgettable adventure into families and the power of love.

The Subsidiary

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Author: Matias Celedon

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612195458

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 1501

“Powerful, beautiful, and haunting. Every time I read The Subsidiary, it feels both timeless and painfully, undeniably contemporary.” —Alejandro Zambra In the subsidiary offices of a major corporation, the power suddenly goes out: the lights switch off; the doors lock; the phone lines go dead. The employees are trapped in total darkness with only cryptic, intermittent announcements over the loud speaker, instructing all personnel to remain at their work stations until further notice. Terrified, one lone worker uses the implements on his desk to give testimony to the horrors that occur during the days he spends trapped in the building, testimony told exclusively --- and hauntingly --- through the stamps he uses to mark corporate documents. Hand-designed by the author with a stamp set he bought in an bookstore in Santiago, Matías Celedón's The Subsidiary is both an exquisite object and a chilling avant-garde tale from one of Chile's rising literary stars. From the Hardcover edition.

The Old Man and the Bureaucrats

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Author: Mircea Eliade

Publisher: Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Fiction

Page: 128

View: 3023

The conflict between myth and technology and the impact of totalitarianism is explored in the tale of an elderly schoolteacher who, while looking for a former pupil, is held for questioning by Communist officials in Romania.

The Girl in the Road

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Author: Monica Byrne

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0804138869

Category: Fiction

Page: 338

View: 429

Waking up in a futuristic Mumbai with five snake bites, Meena is compelled to return to her native Ethiopia by way of a forbidden path spanning the Arabian Sea; while a girl from a different time, Mariama, flees a traumatic experience to Ethiopia in search of a better life. 80,000 first printing.

Wait Till You See Me Dance

Stories

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Author: Deb Olin Unferth

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1555977685

Category: Fiction

Page: 200

View: 5989

“Deb Olin Unferth’s stories are so smart, fast, full of heart, and distinctive in voice—each an intense little thought-system going out earnestly in search of strange new truths. What an important and exciting talent.”—George Saunders For more than ten years, Deb Olin Unferth has been publishing startlingly askew, wickedly comic, cutting-edge fiction in magazines such as Granta, Harper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s, NOON, and The Paris Review. Her stories are revered by some of the best American writers of our day, but until now there has been no stand-alone collection of her short fiction. Wait Till You See Me Dance consists of several extraordinary longer stories as well as a selection of intoxicating very short stories. In the chilling “The First Full Thought of Her Life,” a shooter gets in position while a young girl climbs a sand dune. In “Voltaire Night,” students compete to tell a story about the worst thing that ever happened to them. In “Stay Where You Are,” two oblivious travelers in Central America are kidnapped by a gunman they assume to be an insurgent—but the gunman has his own problems. An Unferth story lures you in with a voice that seems amiable and lighthearted, but it swerves in sudden and surprising ways that reveal, in terrifying clarity, the rage, despair, and profound mournfulness that have taken up residence at the heart of the American dream. These stories often take place in an exaggerated or heightened reality, a quality that is reminiscent of the work of Donald Barthelme, Lorrie Moore, and George Saunders, but in Unferth’s unforgettable collection she carves out territory that is entirely her own.

The Castle

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Author: Franz Kafka,Anthea Bell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199238286

Category: Fiction

Page: 279

View: 3934

Kafka's story about a man seeking acceptance and access to the mysterious castle is among the central works of modern literature. This translation follows the German critical text and includes a detailed introduction and notes to this famously enigmatic novel.