Jenny and the Jaws of Life

Short Stories

Jincy Willett

Picador

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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."

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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.

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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


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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
Jincy Willett

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Available Formats and Book Details

Jenny and the Jaws of Life
Short Stories
Jincy Willett

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428105
ISBN10: 0312428103
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$17.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
September 2002
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312306182
ISBN10: 0312306180
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$18.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
May 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466807532
ISBN10: 1466807539
272 pages
$7.99
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Picador

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