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Coup de Foudre: Une Nouvelle
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The explosive new collection by the celebrated author of Thirst and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies, Coup de Foudre is the kind of groundbreaking work of literary invention Ken Kalfus's fans have come to expect. The book is anchored by the full text of the provocatively topical title novella that appeared in Harper's, a sometimes farcical, ultimately tragic story about the president of an international lending institution accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in a New York hotel. Recalling recent news events with irony and compassion, Kalfus skewers international political gridlock and the hypocrisies of acceptable sexual conduct. Coup de Foudre is an explosive collection--the kind of groundbreaking work of literary invention Ken Kalfus's fans have come to expect. The book is anchored by the provocatively topical title novella that appeared in Harper's, a sometimes farcical, ultimately tragic story about the president of an international lending company accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in a New York hotel. Recalling recent news events with irony and compassion, Kalfus skewers international political gridlock and the hypocrisies of acceptable sexual conduct. In "The Moment They Were Waiting For," a murderer on death row casts a spell granting the inhabitants of his city the foreknowledge of the dates they will die. In "v. The Large Hadron Collider," a judge distracted by the faint possibility of an adulterous affair must decide whether to throw out a nuisance lawsuit that raises the even fainter possibility that the entire earth may be destroyed. "The Un-" is a nostalgic story of a young writer's struggles as he tries to surmount the colossal, heavily guarded wall that apparently separates writers who have been published from those who have not. Varying boldly in theme, setting, and tone, the stories in Coup de Foudre share Kalfus's distinctive humor and intellect, inextricably bound with high literary ambition.
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Promotional Information

National Book Award finalist Ken Kalfus's collection of intellectually adventurous comedies--praised as "spectacular" by the New York Times Book Review.

About the Author

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.

Reviews

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

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