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An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw it

An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw it (Paperback)

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Synopsis

'Greengrass is undoubtedly that rare thing, a genuinely new and assured voice in prose. Her work is precise, properly moving, quirky and heartfelt' AL Kennedy The twelve stories in this startling collection range over centuries and across the world. There are stories about those who are lonely, or estranged, or out of time. There are hauntings, both literal and metaphorical; and acts of cruelty and neglect but also of penance. Some stories concern themselves with the present, and the mundane circumstances in which people find themselves: a woman who feels stuck in her life imagines herself in different jobs - as a lighthouse keeper in Wales, or as a guard against polar bears in a research station in the Arctic. Some stories concern themselves with the past: a sixteenth-century alchemist and doctor, whose arrogance blinds him to people's dissatisfaction with their lives until he experiences it himself. Finally, in the title story, a sailor gives his account - violent, occasionally funny and certainly tragic - of the decline of the Great Auk.



Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Fiction & PoetryShort stories Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division Publication Date: 30/07/2015 ISBN-13: 9781473610859  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Jessie Greengrass was born in 1982. She studied philosophy in Cambridge and London, where she now lives with her partner and child.

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Staff Choice

I usually can't abide short stories but, after reading the first, eponymous story because I really like Great Auks, I became completely enamoured of the writing in this new collection the themes that loosely tie the stories together are those of loneliness or isolation, and failure. Failure to live up to your own expectations; failure to do your duty; failure to simply be happy. One of the first titles to be published in the new J M Originals imprint, the book's subtly beautiful production matches the sombre-toned stark prose.

Rachel, Charing Cross Road

 

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 26/04/2016

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