THE USUAL UNCERTAINTIES
The stories inThe Usual Uncertainties follow characters who live at the edges of the frame--among them, a community college dropout from Miami, a couple who meet at a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles, a religious boy whose mother arranges a square dance Bar Mitzvah party for him, the director of a competitive Scrabble club, and a widowed geriatric care manager. Jonathan Blum's stories have a way of turning everyday people inside out, rendering them vulnerable and strange, the way we all appear when looked at closely enough. The unlikely heroes of The Usual Uncertainties are trying to make their way in the world in the face of struggles big and small, both ancestral and circumstantial. This collection is a compelling blend of tragic and comical, quiet and radiant.
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Last Word, a novella, tells the story of Kip Langer, a successful orthognathic surgeon, who is trying to raise three children, including Eric, a bright but socially awkward thirteen-year-old from his first marriage. As Eric gets into more and more trouble on the computer at his Conservative Jewish day school, Kip tries to understand Eric and guide him toward making better choices. The story, set in a Southern suburban community, examines patterns of love, anger, intimacy, inheritance, and disconnection within one modern blended family.
One of the Best Books of 2013 , Iowa Public Radio
Editor's Pick, Newpages.com
Best seller for six months, Small Press Distribution
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