Mothers is a collection marked in equal measure by precision and profundity, and announces the debut of one of the most rousing voices in fiction today.
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‘To read Mothers is to take a journey through a landscape familiar enough to console, yet strange enough to unsettle. The thrills and dangers of such a journey lie with the unexpectedness of life’s undercurrents and our uncertain, unknowable selves. Chris Power’s quiet yet compelling touch is reminiscent of Alice Munro and Peter Stamm.’
– Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants
Chris Power’s stories are peopled by men and women who find themselves at crossroads or dead ends – characters who search without knowing what they seek. A woman uses her mother’s old travel guide to navigate nowhere; a stand-up comic with writer’s block performs a fateful gig at a cocaine-fulled bachelor party; on holiday in Greece, a father must confront the limits to which he can keep his daughters safe.
From remote and wild Exmoor to ancient Swedish burial sites and hedonistic Mexican weddings, these stories lay bare the emotional and psychic damage of life, love and abandonment.
Mothers proves the vital importance of short fiction and announces the debut of an exceptional literary voice.
A collection of beautifully controlled stories that depict how the most powerful moments in our lives can be the most inexplicable or enigmatic. Power's characters are rootless, vigilant, and warily tuned to the limitations of their own self knowledge.
The extraordinary thing about Chris Power’s stories is the range of personalities and worlds he can inhabit. The sentences and paragraphs are simple but the more you look at them, the deeper they become. How wonderful to encounter this great new talent.
The 10 stories in Chris Power's extraordinary first collection are about the brief moments that resonate across whole lives... Power has an intelligent and confidently idiosyncratic approach to the form... His images are sharply drawn and often haunting. There is an obsessive quality to the best of these stories that makes them feel pregnant with inscrutable meaning. Many of them have the bittersweet mood, the uncanny logic and the peculiar sheen of childhood memory... It is testament to the depth and distinctiveness of Power's characters that it seems so important to try to understand them, even as they fail to understand themselves.
To read Mothers is to take a journey through a landscape familiar enough to console, yet strange enough to unsettle. The thrills and dangers of such a journey lie with the unexpectedness of life's undercurrents and our uncertain, unknowable selves. Chris Power's quiet yet compelling touch is reminiscent of Alice Munro and Peter Stamm.
Tremendous … these are stories which resonate, which demand re-reading, and which deserve to be placed in the hands of readers.
Ten richly imagined, superbly controlled stories... ["Summer 76"] is marked by a simplicity and clarity of detail reminiscent of Alice Munro... ["Run"] recalls the lucid asperity of James Salter... Restrained yet formally ambitious, these marvellously crafted stories brim with menace and moments of truth.
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