In this provocative and haunting collection of short stories, edited by two masters of the form, a diverse group of contemporary writers probes the nature and connection between two of the most powerful, exhilarating, and terrifying forces that define and shape the human experience.
“What else is there?”—Alice Munro, on why so much of her work deals with the twin themes of sex and death.
The drive for life—for survival and reproduction—and the drive for death—for violence and self-destruction—are the two dominant, instinctive urges of human behavior. These conflicting compulsions, characterized by Freud as Eros and Thanatos, are also the central themes of great literature. In Sex and Death, some of today’s most compelling writers from around the globe—Kevin Barry, Lynn Coady, Ceridwen Dovey, Robert Drewe, Damon Galgut, Petina Gappah, Sarah Hall, Peter Hobbs, Yiyun Li, Alexander MacLeod, Ben Marcus, Jon McGregor, Guadalupe Nettel, Courttia Newland, Taiye Selasi, Ali Smith, Wells Tower, Claire Vaye Watkins, Alan Warner, Clare Wigfall—explore these challenging themes with honesty, psychological acuity, brutality, tenderness, and empathy, in stories that are disquieting, illuminating, funny, and utterly dazzling.
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About the Author
Sarah Hall was born in 1974 in Cumbria, England. She received a master of letters in creative writing from Scotland's St. Andrews University and has published four novels. Haweswater won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (overall winner, Best First Novel) and a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award. The Electric Michelangelo was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Eurasia Region), and the Prix Femina Étranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Daughters of the North won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. How to Paint a Dead Man was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction. In 2013 Hall was named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, a prize awarded every ten years, and she won the BBC National Short Story Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
PETER HOBBS grew up in Cornwall and Yorkshire, and now lives in London. He is the award-winning author of two novels, The Short Day Dying and In the Orchard, the Swallows, as well as a collection of short stories, I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a writer-in-residence for the literacy charity First Story.
Hometown:Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
Date of Birth:January 6, 1974
Place of Birth:Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
Education:B.A., The University of Wales, Aberystwyth; M.A. in Creative Writing, St. Andrews University, Scotland