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MCD x FSG Originals
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
On Sale: 10/08/2019
ISBN: 9780374538354240 Pages
The mundane becomes sinister in a disquieting story collection from the author of The Grip of It
In Jac Jemc’s dislocating second story collection, False Bingo, we watch as sinister forces—some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not—work their ways into the mundanity of everyday life.
In “Strange Loop,” an outcast attempting to escape an unnamed mistake spends his days taxiderming animals, while in “Delivery,” a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. “Don’t Let’s” finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the sadistic narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
Praise for False Bingo
"Jemc’s electric, nimble collection plumbs its characters’ most intimate relationships and unearths potent hidden truths . . . . Many of these stories are only a few pages, allowing Jemc to deliver a range of payoffs, some unsettling, some poignant, all evocative. This constantly shifting collection will leave readers beguiled." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Jemc's stories revel in disquiet . . . Jemc's insistence on her stories' rights not to resolve their dilemmas is the thread that binds this book together . . . [False Bingo will] delight [a reader] willing to learn how these particular stories want to be read. Tense, well-imagined." --Kirkus
"20 electrifying short stories, some no longer than a few pages, but every one odd and memorable for wildly different reasons . . . A writer compared to Shirley Jackson and Henry James, Jemc continues to solidify her standing as a talented writer of the uncanny, the horrifying, and the hilarious." --Booklist-