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Everything Ravaged Everything Burned

A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the sweat-smudged footprint on the inside of his windscreen doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily, hilariously try to reassemble themselves. His characters - marauding Vikings, washed-up entrepreneurs, and jobbing hacks on local papers - are adrift from the mainstream, confused by contemporary masculinity, angry and aimless. Combining electric prose with compassion and dark wit, this is a major debut.
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About the Author

Wells Tower was born in Vancouver in 1973. He received a B.A. in anthropology and sociology from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University. He is the recipient of The Paris Review Discovery Prize, a Pushcart Prize and a Henfield Foundation award. He lives in North Carolina.


'Tower's prose is muscular and poetic with an almost vertiginous momentum and his characters titter on the brink of emotional collapse - This is a collection that, for once, lives up to the hype. Watch out for Wells' Sunday Times 'Short stories exploring love, violence and the fear that has us lying, eyes open, in the dark. An extraordinary debut and a sensitive, surprising voice' The Times Review 'Reading them, you are reminded of how Richard Ford, a master of the craft, once proposed the quality of audacity - as the defining characteristic of perfect short stories, suggesting that they were always the high-wire act of literature. In this sense, Tower certainly makes you crane your neck' Observer 'Like David Foster Wallace, Tower taps into what lies beneath, often comically. There are dazzling points of light and compassion in the darkness' Independent on Sunday

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