OVERRIDE

Jenny and the Jaws of Life

Short Stories

Jincy Willett

Picador

Jincy Willett is the high priestess of dark comedy. The classic stories in this collection cut through every convention, every idea of normalcy, with empathy and fearless wit, undermining all the old ideas about the happy family, the good son, the dutiful mother. In Willett's world, perversity and tenderness walk hand in hand; there's laughter and funerals, ambivalence in the nursery, and redemption for the wicked. As David Sedaris writes in his foreword, "I'm prepared to wear a sandwich board for this book. I can't help myself. It' just too good."

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
The Lingards were not a flashy couple, but people admired and envied their marriage, the symmetry of their mutual regard, their serene and constant intimacy. This perfect marriage was often held up as a standard against which other couples disparaged their own. In a typical argument the wife would say, “Kenneth never cuts her down in public,” and the husband would perhaps reply that “Maybe that’s because he respects her, because Anita doesn’t get bombed and blab her husband’s private remarks at parties. And even if Anita couldn’t hold her
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REVIEWS

Praise for Jenny and the Jaws of Life

"It's just the funniest collection of stories I've ever read--really funny and perfectly sad at the same time."--David Sedaris

 

"A triumphant collection . . . Willett can provoke whoops of laughter, wonderment, and grim speculation about the brevity of good times for human beings."--Chicago Tribune

 

"Exquisite . . . A great, darkly comic collection."--Esquire

 

"Just to be absolutely clear: I'm not recommending this title. I'm telling you: add this item to your basket."--The Guardian (UK)

 

"Willett is ready to join the select group of short story writers--Joyce Carol Oates and Flannery O'Connor among them--who treat lurid, graphic material with psychological acuity and deadpan wit."--The Providence Journal

 

"Resonates with understanding."--People

 

"Exhilarating. Her art has passed through anxiety and come out the other side, completely honest yet purged of the confessional whine or the need to call attention to its bravery."--The Village Voice

"It's just the funniest collection of stories I've ever read--really funny and perfectly sad at the same time."--David Sedaris

 

"A triumphant collection . . . Willett can provoke whoops of laughter, wonderment, and grim speculation about the brevity of good times for human beings."--Chicago Tribune

 

"Exquisite . . . A great, darkly comic collection."--Esquire

 

"Just to be absolutely clear: I'm not recommending this title. I'm telling you: add this item to your basket."--The Guardian (UK)

 

"Willett is ready to join the select group of short story writers--Joyce Carol Oates and Flannery O'Connor among them--who treat lurid, graphic material with psychological acuity and deadpan wit."--The Providence Journal

 

"Resonates with understanding."--People

 

"Exhilarating. Her art has passed through anxiety and come out the other side, completely honest yet purged of the confessional whine or the need to call attention to its bravery."--The Village Voice

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jincy Willett

  • JINCY WILLETT is a writer and editor based in San Diego. She is the author of Winner of the National Book Award and The Writing Class.

  • Jincy Willett Photo: Edward Kornhauser
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Available Formats and Book Details

Jenny and the Jaws of Life

Short Stories

Jincy Willett

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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