‘Notes from the Fog’ by Ben Marcus
WHO: Ben Marcus
WHAT: NOTES FROM THE FOG, stories
WHEN: Published by Knopf August 22, 2018
WHERE: The author lives in New York.
WHY: “A bracing, forceful collection.
“Ben Marcus’s refined and uncompromising third story collection, dissects the American experience through language that is always precise, unexpected, and alive.
“In the tone-setting first story, ‘Cold Little Bird,’ a 10-year-old boy’s sudden aversion to affection threatens to dismantle his parents’ marriage. Two married architects attempt to build a potentially unbuildable memorial for a terrorist attack in the excellent ‘Blueprints for St. Louis,’ while a mother leaves her own family to care for the husband and sons of her recently deceased sister in ‘The Boys.’
“The somewhat straightforward plots of these stories cede center stage to the brutal strangeness and ominous mood of Marcus’s language, which is best expressed in the collection’s centerpiece, ‘A Suicide of Trees,’ a nightmarish tale of a middle-aged man searching for his missing father.
“Throughout, each story features moments of considered, lacerating prose (‘A husband, these days, is a bag of need with a dank wet hole in its bottom. The sheer opposite of a go bag.’) threaded together by sentences that, like a marionette’s strings, bring the world to full, expansive life.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, in a boxed and starred review
“Widely celebrated, and rightly so, Marcus instills his fiction with a deep sense of unease, one that is both strikingly strange and yet uncomfortably familiar.”
—Diego Baez, BOOKLIST
“Marcus delivers slightly tilted, sometimes futuristic worlds in beautifully, icily precise language…Excellent for smart readers.” —Barbara Hoffert, LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Richly imagined stories.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
. . . . .
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK:
It started with bedtime. A coldness. A formality.
Martin and Rachel tucked the boy in, as was their habit, then stooped to kiss him good night.
“Please don’t do that,” he said, turning to face the wall.
They took it as teasing, flopped onto his bed to nuzzle and tickle him.
The boy turned rigid, endured the cuddle, then barked out at them, “I really don’t like that!”
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Knopf. 256 pages. $26.95
To interview the author, contact:
Jess Purcell | 212-572-2082 | firstname.lastname@example.org