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Corpus Christi

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eBook published by Random House (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
From an acclaimed and award-winning young writer comes an intensely moving debut collection set in the eye of life’s storms. In Corpus Christi, Texas—a town often hit by hurricanes— parents, children, and lovers come together and fall apart, bonded and battered by memories of loss that they feel as acutely as physical pain.

A car accident joins strangers linked by an intimate knowledge of madness. A teenage boy remembers his father’s act of sudden and self-righteous violence. A “hurricane party” reunites a couple whom tragedy parted. And, in an unforgettable three-story cycle, an illness sets in profound relief a man’s relationship with his mother and the odd, shifting fidelity of truth to love.

Told in fresh, lyrical voices and taut, inventive styles, these narratives explore the complex volatility of love and intimacy, sorrow and renewal—and expose how often these experiences feel like the opposite of themselves. From the woman whose young son’s uncanny rapport with snakes illuminates her own missed opportunities to the man confronting his wife and her lover in a house full of illegal exotic birds, all the characters here face moments of profound decision and recognition in which no choice is clearly or completely right.

Writing with tough humor, deep humanity, and a keen eye for the natural environment, Bret Anthony Johnston creates a world where where cataclysmic events cut people loose from their “regular lives, floating and spiraling away from where we had been the day before.” Corpus Christi is a extraordinarily ambitious debut. It marks the arrival of an important, exquisitely talented voice to American fiction.


From the Hardcover edition.
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From an acclaimed and award-winning young writer comes an intensely moving debut collection set in the eye of life’s storms. In Corpus Christi, Texas—a town often hit by hurricanes— parents, children, and lovers come together and fall apart, bonded and battered by memories of loss that they feel as acutely as physical pain.

A car accident joins strangers linked by an intimate knowledge of madness. A teenage boy remembers his father’s act of sudden and self-righteous violence. A “hurricane party” reunites a couple whom tragedy parted. And, in an unforgettable three-story cycle, an illness sets in profound relief a man’s relationship with his mother and the odd, shifting fidelity of truth to love.

Told in fresh, lyrical voices and taut, inventive styles, these narratives explore the complex volatility of love and intimacy, sorrow and renewal—and expose how often these experiences feel like the opposite of themselves. From the woman whose young son’s uncanny rapport with snakes illuminates her own missed opportunities to the man confronting his wife and her lover in a house full of illegal exotic birds, all the characters here face moments of profound decision and recognition in which no choice is clearly or completely right.

Writing with tough humor, deep humanity, and a keen eye for the natural environment, Bret Anthony Johnston creates a world where where cataclysmic events cut people loose from their “regular lives, floating and spiraling away from where we had been the day before.” Corpus Christi is a extraordinarily ambitious debut. It marks the arrival of an important, exquisitely talented voice to American fiction.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
eBook (288 pages)
Published: December 18, 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House
ISBN: 9780307430854
Other books byBret Anthony Johnston
  • Naming the World

    Naming the World
    And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer
    You already have the tools to become a gifted writer; what you need is the spark. Harvard creative writing professor and acclaimed author Bret Anthony Johnston brings you an irresistible interactive guide to the craft of narrative writing. From developing characters to building conflict, from mastering dialogue to setting the scene, Naming the World jump-starts your creativity with inspiring exercises that will have you scrambling for pen and paper. Every chapter is a master class with the country’s most eminent authors, renowned editors, and dedicated teachers. • Infuse emotion into your fiction with three key strategies from Margot Livesey. • Christopher Castellani dumps the “write what you know” maxim and challenges you to really delve into the imagination. • A point-of-view drill from Susan Straight can be just the breakthrough you need to flesh out your story. • Jewell Parker Rhodes shares how good dialogue is not just about what is being said but about what is being left unsaid. Brimming with imaginative springboards and hands-on exercises, Naming the World has everything you need to become a stronger, more inventive writer. “A delicious book. Imagine yourself at a cocktail party crammed with literary lions. You have the chance to spend a few moments with each of them. Wit and wisdom abound.” –Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way “A highly useful and perceptive book. With charm and intelligence it touches on nearly every teachable aspect of the devilishly difficult art of writing.” –Ethan Canin, professor of creative writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop, and author of Carry Me Across the Water “These entertaining and useful exercises, intelligently organized, are a boon for both beginning and experienced writers.” –Andrea Barrett, National Book Award—winning author of The Air We Breathe “Forget about getting an MFA! For any writer struggling with his craft, here is the equivalent of a master class in writing by some of the best writer/teachers around.” –Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers

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