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An Amateur’s Guide to the Night

Stories

List Price: $16.95

February 12, 2019 | Paperback | 5 x 8, 144 pages | ISBN 9781640090897
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“Mary Robison’s short stories are short, subtle, and substantial . . . Her ironic sense of detail bursts from every sentence.” —Vogue

An Amateur’s Guide to the Night stands as a perfect example of Mary Robison’s beloved narrative style: purposeful, clipped, and devastating in its restraint. Reflecting on the life of disaffected youth, these stories speculate on how they often manage to remain deferent towards the rest of society—and document how spectacularly they often fail.

“These thirteen stories are glimpses from a moving train into lit parlors, dinettes, bedrooms and dens . . . Think of Robison as the engineer, blowing the whistle, calling the stops and starts; invisible when you want to ask her why we’re stalled here in the middle of nowhere, between stations, jobs, relationships and decisions.” —Los Angeles Times

About Mary Robison

MARY ROBISON was born in Washington, D.C. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is the author of four collections of stories and four novels. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Praise
Praise for An Amateur's Guide to the Night

Recipient of the 2018 Arts and Letters Award in Literature

"Mary Robison's short stories are short, subtle, and substantial . . . Her ironic sense of detail bursts from every sentence." —Vogue

"The writing is cool and detached, controlling a breathtaking compassion. Her subjects and characters, mostly family members, are right out of life. An Amateur's Guide to the Night continues Robison's practice of penetrating the heart. There is not one story in this collection that does not evoke an emotional response . . . It's an intimate, enriching experience." —San Francisco Chronicle

"These thirteen stories are glimpses from a moving train into lit parlors, dinettes, bedrooms and dens. Though the rider sees only fragments, he can intuit essentials from posture, from motion, and see the space that characters inhabit. Think of Robison as the engineer, blowing the whistle, calling the stops and starts; invisible when you want to ask her why we're stalled here in the middle of nowhere, between stations, jobs, relationships and decisions. Like Ann Beattie, Robison shunts the reader off the mainline to a limbo where everyone waits for something to begin or end. As narrative, the stories are inconclusive; as commentaries on the way Americans live now, they're absolute and final." —Los Angeles Times

"It's my hope that An Amateur's Guide to the Night will win her the readership she deserves. No American short story writer speaks to our time more urgently or fondly than Robison." —David Leavitt, Village Voice

"Hip, deadpan, it's–cute–to–be–crazy stories from the author of Days and the novel Oh!—with vague grim undercurrents beneath the bright little pop–artish sketches of disaffected youngish people." —Kirkus Reviews

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