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National Book Award finalist Ken Kalfus's collection of intellectually adventurous comedies--praised as "spectacular" by the New York Times Book Review.
Ken Kalfus is the author of three novels, Equilateral, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Commissariat of Enlightenment. He has also published the story collections Thirst and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies, the latter a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the basis for the HBO film Pu-239. Kalfus recently received a Pew Fellowships in the Arts award and a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in Philadelphia.
A moving exploration of the ambiguous nature of reality, storytelling, and the passage of time. The New York Times Book Review Excellent ... Read Coup de Foudre to see firsthand why [Kalfus's] writing is so highly regarded. The Philadelphia Inquirer Dazzling. Booklist Gimlet-eyed observations, dazzling ideas and well-crafted characters ... A tour de force. Financial Times Audacious ... Makes you want to cry--with laughter ... The stories are sharply original; he can be cool, hip, tragic ... Witty, unsettling, sometimes weird, they sing from the page with intelligence, humour and style. The Spectator Can you call a Guggenheim Fellow and a National Book Award Finalist unheralded? Maybe not, but underheralded Ken Kalfus most certainly is. With Coup de Foudre, he's written as varied and exciting a collection as any you're likely to find, a wild array of stories and novellas made whole by the artfulness of his prose, the bravery of his tactics, and the empathy and honesty of his gaze. -- Kevin Brockmeier, author of THE ILLUMINATION Ken Kalfus keeps you teetering between 'this is weird' and 'exactly right!' The strange worlds he brilliantly creates are oddly familiar and make you laugh and think and hope for more. He is an original with the gift of getting inside people. -- Mark Kurlansky, author of CITY BEASTS Ken Kalfus' exuberant fictions about scamps, fumblers, and modern day rogues comes as a relief--so THIS is how they think. Kalfus cracks the human personality code with Coup de Foudre. Yet another of the author's literary accomplishments, chock full of clear-eyed portraits in an entertaining and experimental vein. -- Amity Gaige, author of SCHRODER It is impossible to stay detached from a Ken Kalfus story. No matter how unsettling their predicaments, the characters in this striking collection are rendered so fully and precisely that we can feel the force of their desires and understand their panic and confusion. Whether the subject is sexual assault, an eerie curse cast on a community, the act of reading, or even gingivitis, these fictions are infused with the force of lived experience. -- Joanna Scott, author of DE POTTER'S GRAND TOUR Ken Kalfus's story, Coup de Foudre, is a brilliant fictional account of the incident [in which Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid], framed as a cringe-making letter of apology. The Globe and Mail In the title novella, Kalfus, a National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, riffs entertainingly on the outlaw sexual proclivities of a financial titan reminiscent of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The Forward, "12 Books We're Looking Forward to in 2015" Provocative explorations into contemporary culture. -- BookReporter.com Kalfus's stories ... roll in like thunder ... Together they create a pensive and wistful atmosphere. Kalfus blends science and philosophy to create whimsical, off-kilter worlds only slightly different from our own and in which entire universes are born--slanted but familiar. A playful and poignant collection of fiction that masterfully toes the line between comic and tragic. Shelf Awareness A fictionalised account of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's fall that is psychologically brilliant Michael Gove, New Statesman, Books of the Year