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Thematically connected by issues of sexuality, identity, rejection, and acceptance, Kennedy's 12 luminous stories are marvels of emotional intensity, made all the more so by being told, for the most part, from the male point of view, though not in a heavy-handed, macho fashion. Indeed, it is this sort of narrative androgyny that makes her characters' nearly genderless neutrality both satisfying and surprising. Limning the depths of palpable despair, they are equally capable of soaring with mercurial bravado, often working within the confines of relationships that display varying degrees of sexual dysfunction. Some pulsate with a subtle undercurrent of perversion or violence, such as implied acts of rape or explicit acts of homosexuality. Others plumb issues that are disturbingly immoral or, at the very least, inappropriate: adultery, or the breakup of a love affair. Nearly all flirt with, or are flummoxed by, a fatalistic need to lose oneself inside another person, as if searching there for an identity they are unable to find within themselves. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“The best stories here are exacting in tone and compassionate, delivering ornery or wretched characters with equanimity and grace” –The Boston Globe
“Brilliantly moving. . . . As stark and incisive as an X-ray negative of bones and joints.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A world class fiction writer.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Kennedy is adept at creating the texture of desire. . . . One of the bright young stars among contemporary British writers.” —San Jose Mercury News
“Randy, crabby and dangerous to read . . . Kennedy is a master of the whomping good phrase.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review