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Thunderstruck & Other Stories
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2014
Status:
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Description
WINNER OF THE STORY PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEWSDAY

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post  San Francisco Chronicle • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Miami Herald • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews


Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
From the author of the beloved novel The Giant’s House—finalist for the National Book Award—comes a beautiful new story collection, her first in twenty years. Laced through with the humor, the empathy, and the rare and magical descriptive powers that have led Elizabeth McCracken’s fiction to be hailed as “exquisite” (The New York Times Book Review), “funny and heartbreaking” (The Boston Globe), and “a true marvel” (San Francisco Chronicle), these nine vibrant stories navigate the fragile space between love and loneliness. In “Property,” selected by Geraldine Brooks for The Best American Short Stories, a young scholar, grieving the sudden death of his wife, decides to refurbish the Maine rental house they were to share together by removing his landlord’s possessions. In “Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey,” the household of a successful filmmaker is visited years later by his famous first subject, whose trust he betrayed. In “The Lost & Found Department of Greater Boston,” the manager of a grocery store becomes fixated on the famous case of a missing local woman, and on the fate of the teenage son she left behind. And in the unforgettable title story, a family makes a quixotic decision to flee to Paris for a summer, only to find their lives altered in an unimaginable way by their teenage daughter’s risky behavior.
 
In Elizabeth McCracken’s universe, heartache is always interwoven with strange, charmed moments of joy—an unexpected conversation with small children, the gift of a parrot with a bad French accent—that remind us of the wonder and mystery of being alive. Thunderstruck & Other Stories shows this inimitable writer working at the full height of her powers.
 
Praise for Thunderstruck & Other Stories
 
“Restorative, unforgettable . . . a powerful testament to the scratchy humor and warm intelligence of McCracken’s writing.”—Sylvia Brownrigg, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“[A] bewitching and wise collection . . . playful, even joyful.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Stunningly beautiful . . . brilliantly moving . . . Moments of joy and pure magic flicker and pitch-perfect humor acts as a furtive SOS signal through the fog of loss.”Los Angeles Times
“Each of Thunderstruck’s nine stories is a storm: delightful and destructive, packed with electricity, fascinating to watch unfold.”Salon
 
“The stories here are brilliant, funny and heartbreaking. . . . Elizabeth McCracken is a national treasure.”—Paul Harding, The Wall Street Journal
 
“Pure delight: one lyrical, impeccably constructed sentence after another.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Beautifully wrought . . . As painstaking as a watchmaker, McCracken disassembles...
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/22/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780812995961
ASIN:
B00G8ELSCQ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth McCracken. (2014). Thunderstruck & Other Stories. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth McCracken. 2014. Thunderstruck & Other Stories. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth McCracken, Thunderstruck & Other Stories. Random House Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth McCracken. Thunderstruck & Other Stories. Random House Publishing Group, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:40:57
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Elizabeth McCracken is the author of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, The Giant’s House, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry, and Niagara Falls All Over Again. A former public librarian, she is now a faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, and has received grants and awards from numerous organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Academy in Berlin. Elizabeth is married to the novelist and illustrator Edward Carey.
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imprint
The Dial Press
publishDate
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title
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fullDescription
WINNER OF THE STORY PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEWSDAY

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post  San Francisco Chronicle • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Miami Herald • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews


Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
From the author of the beloved novel The Giant’s House—finalist for the National Book Award—comes a beautiful new story collection, her first in twenty years. Laced through with the humor, the empathy, and the rare and magical descriptive powers that have led Elizabeth McCracken’s fiction to be hailed as “exquisite” (The New York Times Book Review), “funny and heartbreaking” (The Boston Globe), and “a true marvel” (San Francisco Chronicle), these nine vibrant stories navigate the fragile space between love and loneliness. In “Property,” selected by Geraldine Brooks for The Best American Short Stories, a young scholar, grieving the sudden death of his wife, decides to refurbish the Maine rental house they were to share together by removing his landlord’s possessions. In “Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey,” the household of a successful filmmaker is visited years later by his famous first subject, whose trust he betrayed. In “The Lost & Found Department of Greater Boston,” the manager of a grocery store becomes fixated on the famous case of a missing local woman, and on the fate of the teenage son she left behind. And in the unforgettable title story, a family makes a quixotic decision to flee to Paris for a summer, only to find their lives altered in an unimaginable way by their teenage daughter’s risky behavior.
 
In Elizabeth McCracken’s universe, heartache is always interwoven with strange, charmed moments of joy—an unexpected conversation with small children, the gift of a parrot with a bad French accent—that remind us of the wonder and mystery of being alive. Thunderstruck & Other Stories shows this inimitable writer working at the full height of her powers.
 
Praise for Thunderstruck & Other Stories
 
“Restorative, unforgettable . . . a powerful testament to the scratchy humor and warm intelligence of McCracken’s writing.”—Sylvia Brownrigg, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“[A] bewitching and wise collection . . . playful, even joyful.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Stunningly beautiful . . . brilliantly moving . . . Moments of joy and pure magic flicker and pitch-perfect humor acts as a furtive SOS signal through the fog of loss.”Los Angeles Times
“Each of Thunderstruck’s nine stories is a storm: delightful and destructive, packed with electricity, fascinating to watch unfold.”Salon
 
“The stories here are brilliant, funny and heartbreaking. . . . Elizabeth McCracken is a national treasure.”—Paul Harding, The Wall Street Journal
 
“Pure delight: one lyrical, impeccably constructed sentence after another.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Beautifully wrought . . . As painstaking as a watchmaker, McCracken disassembles...
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Shelf Awareness
      • content: "A bracing collection . . . The connecting notion--that love's great capacity for tenderness must bear the risk of pain--is depicted with both joy and ruthlessness."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from November 11, 2013
        McCracken’s short stories are like no others. Her distinctive voice, her slightly askew manner of looking at the world, her mix of mordant humor and tenderness, her sense of life’s ironies, and the jolt of electricity at the end of each tale make her work arresting and memorable. In this collection of nine short narratives (McCracken’s return to short fiction 20 years after Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry), a feckless, improvident father mourns the unwitting example he has set for his son; a grieving mother finds solace in a neighbor’s child, while that child’s mother is about to undergo a tragic loss; and a librarian has to live with a disastrous memory. In the title story, a father who must come to terms with his daughter’s brain injury muses: “Happiness was a narrow tank. You had to make sure that you cleared the lip.” These stories, set in France, Massachusetts, Maine, and Iowa, are macabre yet anchored by precise details and psychological insight; they turn on ironic twists of fate and seesaws of luck. Readers will enjoy reading them twice—the first time quickly, because the plots are mesmerizing and strange, and the second to relish the dozens of images, aperçus, and descriptions (a handsaw is “a house key from a giant’s pocket”; “His hair looked like it had been combed with a piece of buttered toast”; “Amazing how death made petty disappointments into operatic insults”). McCracken transforms life’s dead ends into transformational visions. Agent; Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 15, 2014

        A young girl's ghost, two three-legged dogs, and a comatose American preteen in Paris are a few of the characters who live inside McCracken's bizarre and magnetic gallery of short fiction. In "Something Amazing," a woman is haunted by the recent death of her six-year-old daughter but discovers some release and joy in an unexpected place. "Some Terpsichore" tells how the strange love between a man who plays a saw with a bowlike instrument and his wife, whose singing voice mimics the sound of the musical saw, flickers out when he becomes depressive and physically abusive. At the heart of these pieces and her collection as a whole, McCracken (The Giant's House) examines the connections among human beings and what happens when they lose one another. Through death, medical trauma, or some other mystery or disappearance, life changes for the individuals in these stories, not only for those who are left behind to live with the memory of their loved ones but for neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers. VERDICT Anyone who enjoys short fiction will find pleasure and substance in McCracken's witty, world-wise collection. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/14.]--Shannon Greene, Greenville Technical Coll. Lib., SC

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2014
        Twenty years after her first collection of stories (Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry!, 1993), McCracken returns to short fiction with this collection of nine marvelously quirky, ironic, but, most of all, poignant stories. A young woman befriends a lonely, eccentric children's librarian, who is then devastated when the young woman is found murdered. An English couple who moved to France deed their house to the husband's son from his first marriage, and he later sells it out from under them, leaving them essentially homeless. A woman cares for her granddaughter in Iowa while her son, the girl's father, is dying in a Boston hospital, and neither is able to say goodbye. A woman who lives with her aging father and teenage son disappears into thin air, leaving her son reduced to stealing frozen pizzas from the corner market. Though her characters may seem strange, McCracken paints them with such rich detail that it feels as if we must know them, after allso immersed in their lives do we become in just a few pages.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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WINNER OF THE STORY PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEWSDAY

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post  San Francisco Chronicle • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Miami Herald • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews


Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
From the author of the beloved novel The Giant’s House—finalist for the National Book Award—comes a beautiful new story collection, her first in twenty years. Laced through with the humor, the empathy, and the rare and magical descriptive powers that have led Elizabeth McCracken’s fiction to be hailed as “exquisite” (The New York Times Book Review), “funny and heartbreaking” (The Boston Globe), and “a...
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