What I Didn't See

What I Didn't See

3.74 (789 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Shirley Jackson Awards shortlist
Locus Award shortlist
Story Prize Notable Books
Frank O'Connor Award longlist`Beautifully written and subtly discomforting stories.`--Nancy Pearl`An exceptionally versatile author.`--`St. Louis Post-Dispatch`In her moving and elegant new collection, `New York Times` bestseller Karen Joy Fowler writes about John Wilkes Booth's younger brother, a one-winged man, a California cult, and a pair of twins, and she digs into our past, present, and future in the quiet, witty, and incisive way only she can.The sinister and the magical are always lurking just below the surface: for a mother who invents a fairy-tale world for her son in `Halfway People`; for Edwin Booth in `Booth's Ghost,` haunted by his fame as `America's Hamlet` and his brother's terrible actions; for Norah, a rebellious teenager facing torture in the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award winner `The Pelican Bar` as she confronts Mama Strong, the sadistic boss of a rehabilitation facility; for the narrator recounting her descent in `What I Didn't See.`With clear and insightful prose, Fowler's stories measure the human capacities for hope and despair, brutality and kindness. This collection, which includes two Nebula Award winners and some stories which have been significantly rewritten since first publication, is sure to delight readers, even as it pulls the rug out from underneath them.
Karen Joy Fowler is the author of five novels, including `Wit's End,` `Sister Noon,` `Sarah Canary,` and `The New York Times` bestseller `The Jane Austen Book Club.` Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children, live in Santa Cruz, California.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 17.78mm | 256g
  • Northampton, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1931520488
  • 9781931520485
  • 489,301

Table of contents

Table of Contents

The Pelican Bar
Booth's Ghost
The Last Worders
The Dark
Familiar Birds
Private Grave 9
The Marianas Islands
Halfway People
Standing Room Only
What I Didn't See
King Rat
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Review quote

`Gripping from the start.... We are can never be sure where we are or what each page might bring. This is eclectic approach to a collection is exciting, and steers us away from the safer approach that many other collections take. `--`The Short Review`
`[Fowler] refuses to engage fantastic elements in an expected way, often confining them to the edges of a story, leaving the choice of how real a character's perception is to the reader. Her work reflects how strange and unpredictable life is, how difficult-perhaps impossible-to fully understand.`--Gwenda Bond, `Subterranean Online`
`Because of this range and because of the plain high literary quality of so many of its stories, `What I Didn't See` would provide an excellent introduction to Fowler's work if you've somehow managed to remain unacquainted with it.`--`Strange Horizons`
`An exceptionally versatile author . . . Fowler has `the best possible combination of imagination and pragmatism,` as she applies unique narratives into carefully crafted structures.`--`St. Louis Post-Dispatch`
`In all these stories, Fowler (`Sarah Canary,` `The Jane Austen Book Club`) delights in luring her readers from the walks of ordinary life into darker, more fantastical realms. There, as one of her characters remarks, `Your eyes no longer impose any limit on the things you can see.` . . . Fowler's closing story, `King Rat,` is a masterpiece. Reading more like a personal essay than fiction, it pays eloquent tribute to `the two men I credit with making me a writer.` Here's a volume that serves as a fine introduction to Fowler, if you haven't come across her before--and one that will deeply satisfy fans who've been with her from the beginning.`--`Seattle Times`
`That rare writer who can match the power of her novels with the power of her short stories. She works in the world of myth with great ease. We feel, reading her stories, that we are in our world, but some portion of it that connects vitally wi
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About Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler: Karen Joy Fowler is the author of five novels, including Wit's End and The Jane Austen Book Club, which spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was adapted as a major motion picture from Sony Pictures. Her novel Sister Noon was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, and her short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Awards. Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children, live in Santa Cruz, California.
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Rating details

789 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 24% (192)
4 38% (300)
3 27% (215)
2 8% (64)
1 2% (18)
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