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Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories
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HarperCollins 2015
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Description

"She believed it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us. Long before death, we die a thousand times at the hands of a definition."

A master storyteller's vision reawakens us to the human experience in this diverse, haunting, and unexpectedly humorous new collection of short fiction from Simon Van Booy—his first since Love Begins in Winter, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

In his first book of short stories since Love Begins in Winter, for which he won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award), bestselling author Simon Van Booy offers a collection of stories highlighting how human genius can emerge through acts of compassion. Through characters including an eccentric film director, an aging Cockney bodyguard, the teenage child of Nigerian immigrants, a divorced amateur magician from New Jersey, and a Beijing street vendor who becomes an overnight billionaire, Tales of Accidental Genius contemplates individuals from different cultures, races—rich and poor, young and old—and reveals how faith and yearning for connection helps us all transcend darkness of fear and misfortune.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/10/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062408983
ASIN:
B00TP0552O

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Simon Van Booy. (2015). Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Simon Van Booy. 2015. Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Simon Van Booy, Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories. HarperCollins, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Simon Van Booy. Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories. HarperCollins, 2015.

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 15:59:58
Date Updated:
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        Simon Van Booy is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

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fullDescription

"She believed it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us. Long before death, we die a thousand times at the hands of a definition."

A master storyteller's vision reawakens us to the human experience in this diverse, haunting, and unexpectedly humorous new collection of short fiction from Simon Van Booy—his first since Love Begins in Winter, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

In his first book of short stories since Love Begins in Winter, for which he won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award), bestselling author Simon Van Booy offers a collection of stories highlighting how human genius can emerge through acts of compassion. Through characters including an eccentric film director, an aging Cockney bodyguard, the teenage child of Nigerian immigrants, a divorced amateur magician from New Jersey, and a Beijing street vendor who becomes an overnight billionaire, Tales of Accidental Genius contemplates individuals from different cultures, races—rich and poor, young and old—and reveals how faith and yearning for connection helps us all transcend darkness of fear and misfortune.

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      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
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        "There is a deep and abiding humanism to these stories: people assisting others because the alternative is too grim to contemplate...For all of the globe-trotting and experiments in storytelling found here, there's also a very human core to these stories—a humanistic reminder of the connections we all share." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

        "One of the beauties of all Van Booy's stories, including in his two prior stories collections and in two novels, is that he tells his stories without affectation, but ever so effectively as a stylist and a devout humanist. One amplifies the other, making his stories literary treasures." — Portland Press Herald

        "One of the best living short story writers gives us a collection of six beautifully written stories and a novella that search for the genius in common places and everyday deeds by way of poetic prose." — Kansas City Star

        "Tales of Accidental Genius proves to be a moving, humorous and engaging look at the ways people lean on and support one another. The first six stories fit together like houses on a street... [an] enthralling collection." — Paste Magazine

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2015
        A tenderhearted clutch of stories and fables that highlights interconnectedness between everyone from fashionistas to peasantry, ranging from Brooklyn to London to Beijing. Van Booy is an unrepentant softie: two of his prior story collections highlight the word "love" in their titles (The Secret Lives of People in Love, 2007; Love Begins in Winter, 2009), and sentimentality runs deep here, too. Indeed, it sometimes overflows. "The Goldfish" is a treacly tale about a man seeking medical help for a dead fish he's persuaded himself is only ailing and another man's small act of kindness that spares him sorrow; in "A Slow and Deliberate Disappearance," a magician visits a retirement home, where a pair of stories he hears about eroding memories fuses in a predictable and old-fashioned manner. Van Booy displayed a similar romanticism in his 2013 novel, The Illusion of Separateness, but that book was redeemed by the depth of its characters. So it's not surprising that the shorter sketches that open this collection are improved upon by the prose poem/novella that closes it: in "Golden Helper II," a boy in Beijing named Weng watches his father labor over a mechanical device he's invented to add speed to the tricycle he uses to make vegetable deliveries; when it proves to be a kind of perpetual motion machine that makes Weng fabulously rich, he's forced to consider how he can use his newfound wealth to help others and deal with his heartache over the married woman he's fallen for. The story is formatted like a poem, though it generally reads like prose, and the careful, softened language ("his heart like a kite on currents of breath") and elemental plot support its billing as a satisfying fable. Van Booy clearly believes there are surprising new ways to write about love. Here, he proves he's right, occasionally.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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"She believed it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us. Long before death, we die a thousand times at the hands of a definition."

A master storyteller's vision reawakens us to the human experience in this diverse, haunting, and unexpectedly humorous new collection of short fiction from Simon Van Booy—his first since Love Begins in Winter, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

In his first book of short stories since Love Begins in Winter, for which he won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award), bestselling author Simon Van Booy offers a collection of stories highlighting how human genius can emerge through acts of compassion. Through characters including an eccentric film director, an aging Cockney bodyguard, the teenage child of Nigerian immigrants, a divorced amateur magician from New Jersey, and a Beijing street vendor who becomes an overnight...

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