In this deeply affecting, beautifully crafted collection of short fiction, Bret Lott broadens his stylistic range, striking a surprisingly surreal tone with stark, hyperrealistic prose. As story after dazzling story deliberately takes you down a deceptively ordinary path, the arresting center of each startles your unsuspecting sensibility.
Among the narrative gems is “Family,” in which a husband and wife bicker incessantly before realizing that their two children are missing, only to discover them in a surprising place–and in a disturbing condition. In “Everything Cut Will Come Back,” a long-distance phone call between two brothers takes a turn when their own tragic past crackles over the line. In “History,” a widow thinks she spots her son at the airport and is left instead with a simple memory of her late husband that resolves her grief. The innocence of three boys is lost when they witness a devastating winter tragedy in “The Train, the Lake, the Bridge.”
Within these pages, adulterers are unceremoniously caught, epiphanies arrive during bizarre encounters, and characters move through everyday moments with a fortitude that elevates these stories almost to mythical status. Without a stroke of false sentimentality, The Difference Between Women and Men will leave you strangely shaken–and ever aware of the odd permutations of humankind.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Difference Between Women and Men|
|Release Date: 05-20-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Difference...|
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The Difference Between Women and Men
In the heat of the fight, they forgot about the children.
They were yelling at each other about an issue neither could now recall. They could only remember that one or the other of them had been wronged somehow.
Then she’d stopped, said, “Where are the kids?”
“Of course,” he shouted, “it would be you to take the higher ground. It would be you to bring the kids into this, make me feel like a heel for not thinking about them!”
“And of course,” she shouted, “it would be you to think I’d use them as a weapon against you!”
But then they fell silent, and the quiet of the moment—neither could now recall when there had been silence in the house— infused them both with fear, so that they dropped their hands from the authoritative gestures they’d held them in, index finger of one hand pointed at the other’s face, the other hand clenched in a fist at the hip, and let their arms go loose, useless.
They had forgotten about the children.
“Where are they?” he said, but she was already out of the room, headed upstairs.
She could not find them in their rooms, saw only evidence they had been here before: In Scott’s room were plastic models of fighter jets hung by fish line from the ceiling; on the walls were pennants of major league baseball teams and posters of heavy metal bands with names such as The Broken Necks and The Disease. The dresser in Jennifer’s room was strewn with barrettes and combs, the bed left unmade and littered with Barbies and teen magazines, at least a dozen different outfits heaped on