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The stories in "A Better Angel" describe the terrain of human suffering--illness, regret, mourning, sympathy--in the most unusual of ways. In 'Stab,' a bereaved twin starts a friendship with a homicidal fifth grader in the hope that she can somehow lead him back to his dead brother. In 'Why Antichrist?' a boy tries to contact the spirit of his dead father and finds himself talking to the Devil instead. In the remarkable title story, a ne'er do well pediatrician returns home to take care of his dying father, all the while under the scrutiny of an easily-disappointed heavenly agent. With Gob's Grief and The Children's Hospital, Chris Adrian announced himself as a writer of rare talent and originality. The stories in "A Better Angel", some of which have appeared in The New Yorker,Tin House, and McSweeney's, demonstrate more of his endless inventiveness and wit, and they confirm his growing reputation as a most exciting and unusual literary voice--of heartbreaking, magical, and darkly comic tales.
A hospital is preserved, afloat, after the Earth is flooded beneath seven miles of water. Inside, assailed by mysterious forces, doctors and patients are left to remember the world they've lost and to imagine one to come. At the center, Jemma Claflin, a medical student, finds herself gifted with strange powers and a frightening destiny.
In the summer of 1863, Gob and Tomo Woodhull, eleven-year-old twin sons of Victoria Woodhull, agree to together forsake their home and family in Licking County, Ohio, for the glories of the Union Army. But on the night of their departure for the war, Gob suffers a change of heart, and Tomo is forced to leave his brother behind. Tomo falls in as a bugler with the Ninth Ohio Volunteers and briefly revels in camp life; but when he is shot clean through the eye in his very first battle, Gob is left to endure the guilt and grief that will later come to fuel his obsession with building a vast machine that will bring Tomo-indeed, all the Civil War dead-back to life. Epic in scope yet emotionally intimate, Gob's Grief creates a world both fantastic and familiar and populates it with characters who breath on the page, capturing the spirit of a fevered nation populated with lost brothers and lost souls. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Blood is a terrible gossip, it tells everything."Dr. Miranda is faced with a tragedy: his father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has only a few weeks to live. He is also faced with a dilemma: How does one tell his father he is dying?Ernesto Duran, a patient of Dr. Miranda's, is convinced he is sick. Ever since he separated from his wife he has been presenting symptoms of an illness he believes is killing him. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria. The fixation, in turn, has its own creeping effect on Miranda's secretary, who cannot, despite her best intentions, resist compassion for the man.A profound and philosophical exploration of the nature and meaning of illness, Alberto Barrera Tyszka's tender, refined novel interweaves the stories of four individuals as they try, in their own way, to come to terms with sickness in all its ubiquity.
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