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Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories
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Published:
Graywolf Press 2017
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Description

"Deb Olin Unferth's stories are so smart, fast, full of heart, and distinctive in voice—each an intense little thought-system going out earnestly in search of strange new truths. What an important and exciting talent."—George Saunders
For more than ten years, Deb Olin Unferth has been publishing startlingly askew, wickedly comic, cutting-edge fiction in magazines such as Granta, Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, NOON, and The Paris Review. Her stories are revered by some of the best American writers of our day, but until now there has been no stand-alone collection of her short fiction.
Wait Till You See Me Dance consists of several extraordinary longer stories as well as a selection of intoxicating very short stories. In the chilling "The First Full Thought of Her Life," a shooter gets in position while a young girl climbs a sand dune. In "Voltaire Night," students compete to tell a story about the worst thing that ever happened to them. In "Stay Where You Are," two oblivious travelers in Central America are kidnapped by a gunman they assume to be an insurgent—but the gunman has his own problems.
An Unferth story lures you in with a voice that seems amiable and lighthearted, but it swerves in sudden and surprising ways that reveal, in terrifying clarity, the rage, despair, and profound mournfulness that have taken up residence at the heart of the American dream. These stories often take place in an exaggerated or heightened reality, a quality that is reminiscent of the work of Donald Barthelme, Lorrie Moore, and George Saunders, but in Unferth's unforgettable collection she carves out territory that is entirely her own.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/21/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555979621
ASIN:
B01LXT28RJ
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APA Citation (style guide)

Deb Olin Unferth. (2017). Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Deb Olin Unferth. 2017. Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Deb Olin Unferth, Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Deb Olin Unferth. Wait Till You See Me Dance: Stories. Graywolf Press, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. 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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      • bioText: Deb Olin Unferth is the author of the story collection Minor Robberies and the novel Vacation, winner of the 2009 Cabell First Novelist Award and a New York Times Book Review Critics' Choice. Her work has been featured in Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, The Believer, and the Boston Review. She has received two Pushcart Prizes and a 2009 Creative Capital grant for Innovative Literature and was a Harper's Bazaar Editors' Choice: Name to Know in 2011. She teaches at Wesleyan University and currently lives in New York.
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shortDescription

"Deb Olin Unferth's stories are so smart, fast, full of heart, and distinctive in voice—each an intense little thought-system going out earnestly in search of strange new truths. What an important and exciting talent."—George Saunders
For more than ten years, Deb Olin Unferth has been publishing startlingly askew, wickedly comic, cutting-edge fiction in magazines such as Granta, Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, NOON, and The Paris Review. Her stories are revered by some of the best American writers of our day, but until now there has been no stand-alone collection of her short fiction.
Wait Till You See Me Dance consists of several extraordinary longer stories as well as a selection of intoxicating very short stories. In the chilling "The First Full Thought of Her Life," a shooter gets in position while a young girl climbs a sand dune. In "Voltaire Night," students compete to tell a story about the worst...

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Wait Till You See Me Dance
fullDescription

"Deb Olin Unferth's stories are so smart, fast, full of heart, and distinctive in voice—each an intense little thought-system going out earnestly in search of strange new truths. What an important and exciting talent."—George Saunders
For more than ten years, Deb Olin Unferth has been publishing startlingly askew, wickedly comic, cutting-edge fiction in magazines such as Granta, Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, NOON, and The Paris Review. Her stories are revered by some of the best American writers of our day, but until now there has been no stand-alone collection of her short fiction.
Wait Till You See Me Dance consists of several extraordinary longer stories as well as a selection of intoxicating very short stories. In the chilling "The First Full Thought of Her Life," a shooter gets in position while a young girl climbs a sand dune. In "Voltaire Night," students compete to tell a story about the worst thing that ever happened to them. In "Stay Where You Are," two oblivious travelers in Central America are kidnapped by a gunman they assume to be an insurgent—but the gunman has his own problems.
An Unferth story lures you in with a voice that seems amiable and lighthearted, but it swerves in sudden and surprising ways that reveal, in terrifying clarity, the rage, despair, and profound mournfulness that have taken up residence at the heart of the American dream. These stories often take place in an exaggerated or heightened reality, a quality that is reminiscent of the work of Donald Barthelme, Lorrie Moore, and George Saunders, but in Unferth's unforgettable collection she carves out territory that is entirely her own.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
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        January 23, 2017
        The title story of this collection of 39 short, odd, funny, disturbing stories features a burned-out ESL instructor who drives her co-worker, the office assistant, to a dance. When the assistant falls down a well during a pit stop, the instructor threatens to abandon her if she doesn’t help one of the instructor’s students—a gifted musician whose English is terrible—receive a passing grade on his end-of-semester standardized test. The instructor interrupts her narrative three times to discuss It’s a Wonderful Life. In “Voltaire Night,” students from adult education evening classes compete at telling the worst thing that ever happened to them. Travel tales include “Stay Where You Are,” in which a lone rebel takes a tourist couple hostage, and “Welcome,” about a foreigner who has outstayed her welcome. Unferth’s (Minor Robberies) stories can be as short as one paragraph and often lack plot, names, or segues. One character is called simply “Vice President of Pretzels,” which is all that’s needed to understand that he won’t be any help to his customer. “37 Seconds” consists of a list of fleeting impressions that add up to a man and a woman having an argument. Both traditionally told stories like “Pet” and ingeniously structured pieces like “An Opera Season” and “Abandon Normal Instruments” showcase Unferth’s razor-sharp conversational prose and idiosyncratic blend of normal and weird, idealistic and disillusioned.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2017
        A stunning debut collection from Unferth (Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, 2011, etc.), in which a maverick cast of lonely characters wades through life's uncertainties.Unferth, whose collection of short-short fiction, Minor Robberies (2007), was published by McSweeney's, re-emerges with 39 poignant, sharp-edged stories that cut right to the bone of the human psyche with precision and grace. The collection opens with the Pushcart Prize-winning "Likeable," a story ironically about a woman who is so "inconveniently unlikable...she will have to be shoved into a hole and left there." While this woman sadly capitulates to her fate, the rest of the books' inhabitants don't fold so willingly (at least not without a fight or the haphazard adoption of two turtles). They're disenchanted, mordantly obsessive, delusional, yet nevertheless utterly relatable in their indefatigable search for love and acceptance, each one quietly shouldering "the familiar slow-burn panic that you were doing nothing with your life, had not lived up to your 'potential, ' or, worse, you had and it changed nothing." In "Flaws," a couple's listless gossiping devolves into a gloves-off screaming match (succinctly encapsulated in one paragraph). In another story, a father, ignoring the glaring chasms in his family life, signs up for a prison mentoring program and becomes deeply invested in a one-sided relationship. Meanwhile, the title story's protagonist, a clairvoyant adjunct professor--who can predict how long someone has to live--arrives at a moral crossroads when she falls in love with her failing student. Prickly dilemmas, physical and existential, abound in these allegorical stories, each terrifically mundane and told with an exquisite restraint that drolly captures the inherent hope of humanity, or, "the sheer human stubbornness that causes those worse off...to grab hold and climb back into the world of the living, 'optimism, ' one might call it." Chock-full of emotional insight and comic verve, Unferth's beguiling stories are not to be missed.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        March 1, 2017
        Unferth's (Revolution, 2011) forceful collection explores existential moments and assumptions. The 39 short stories and vignettes vary in voice, perspective, and setting. Voltaire Night portrays an alcoholic adjunct who lands a job teaching in an adult-education writing program. The final class ends with a night of drinking, during which the professor challenges the students to share the most traumatic thing that's happened in their lives, with the worst story deemed the winner. This soon becomes a tradition, despite the professor's growing unease, until the confessional competition is knocked off course. In Mr. Simmons Takes a Prisoner, a disaffected father and husband strikes up a one-sided connection with a female inmate as part of a prison-reform program. The brief but haunting A Crossroads captures the unexpected and fleeting contentment found within a small ranch house at the corner of a congested intersection. In Pets, a rescued turtle torments a harried single mother struggling to connect with her son. Unferth's tales expose life's underlying darkness, while offering hard-won moments of clarity that cut straight to the heart.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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