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Mother Box and Other Tales, Mother Box and Other Tales, 1573661740, 1-57366-174-0, 978-1-57366-174-4, 9781573661744, , , Mother Box and Other Tales, 1573668427, 1-57366-842-7, 978-1-57366-842-2, 9781573668422,

Mother Box and Other Tales
by Sarah Blackman

Quality Paper
2013. 224 pp.
0
978-1-57366-174-4
Price:  $16.95 t
E Book
2013. 224 pp.
978-1-57366-842-2
Price:  $9.95 d

The eleven stories and one novella of Mother Box, and Other Tales bring together everyday reality and something that is dramatically not in compelling narratives of new possibilities.

In language that is both barb and bauble, bitter and unbearably sweet, Sarah Blackman spins the threads of stories where everything is probable and nothing is constant. The stories in Mother Box, and Other Tales occur in an in-between world of outlandish possibility that has become irrefutable reality: a woman gives birth to seven babies and realizes at one of their weddings that they were foxes all along; a girl with irritating social quirks has been raised literally by cardboard boxes; a young woman throws a dinner party only to have her elaborate dessert upstaged by one of the guests who, as it turns out, is the moon. Love between mothers and children is a puzzling thrum that sounds at the very edge of hearing; a muted pulse that, nevertheless, beats and beats and beats.

In these tales, the prosaic details of everyday life—a half-eaten sandwich, an unopened pack of letters on a table—take on fevered significance as the characters blunder into revelations that occlude even as they unfold.

Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, a public arts high school, and a fiction editor at Diagram. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with the poet John Pursley III and their daughter, Helen.


“These lucid stories hearken to the spiritual and cerebral fiction of Katherine Mansfield and Joy Williams.  They breathtakingly face what comes next in the world—whether terrible snout or beautiful child—hallucinating what is entirely real.”—Kate Bernheimer, author of The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold and Horse, Flower, Bird


“Sarah Blackman is a wizard at rendering the odd intricacies of the domestic sphere. Her insights are stunning, her eye is keen, and her sentences are unbudgeably right. An excellent debut.”—Noy Holland, author of Swim for the Little One First


“It is a triumph when a sentiment as banal as “One must travel around and pick things up and put them down again” nevertheless sounds profound; or when a sentiment as bizarre as “She would be a body and next, who knew?, a house” seems undeniable and even inevitable. This can only be a result of Blackman’s carefully measured prose. And when it comes to storytelling and the enrapture of her audience, Blackman again excels. Consider, for instance, the eerie “Many Things, Including This,” or “Conversation,” or “The Dinner Party,” all tales that kept this reader turning pages, eager to dispel the dread that hangs over them and to find out what happens next.” —Kenyon Review Online

Winner of the FC2 Ronald Sukenick American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize

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