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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Mothers

Mothers

Stories

Chris Power

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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An “extraordinary” (The Sunday Times) debut of unnerving beauty, Chris Power’s short story collection Mothers evokes the magic and despair of the essential human longing for purpose.

Chris Power’s stories are peopled by men and women who find themselves at crossroads or dead ends—characters who search without knowing what they seek. Their paths lead them to thresholds, bridges, rivers, and sites of mysterious, irresistible connection to the past. A woman uses her mother’s old travel guide, aged years beyond relevance, to navigate on a journey to nowhere; a stand-up comic with writer’s block performs a fateful gig at a cocaine-fueled bachelor party; on holiday in Greece, a father must confront the limits to which he can keep his daughters safe. Braided throughout is the story of Eva, a daughter, wife, and mother, whose search for a self and place of belonging tracks a devastating path through generations.

Ranging from remote English moors to an ancient Swedish burial ground to a hedonistic Mexican wedding, the stories in Mothers lay bare the emotional and psychic damage of life, love, and abandonment. Suffused with yearning, Power’s transcendent prose expresses a profound ache for vanished pasts and uncertain futures.

Praise for Mothers

"Power's wide-ranging debut is confident, complex, bizarre, poignant, and elegantly crafted—a very strong collection." —Kirkus

"Sparkling . . . There’s plenty to admire in Power’s writing, and the author mines his characters for unexpected traits and decisions, making for an auspicious debut." —Publishers Weekly

"The extraordinary thing about Chris Power’s stories is the range of personalities and worlds he can inhabit. The sentences and paragraphs are simple but the more you look at them, the deeper they become. How wonderful to encounter this great new talent." —Akhil Sharma, author of A Life of Adventure and Delight

“Daring . . . Compelling . . . A uniquely unsettling and subtle debut collection.” —Melissa Harrison, The Guardian

"Unsettling . . . These are strange stories, forbidding and unnerving, which need to be read carefully with an ear trained to what isn't being said, what isn't being heard." —Susie Boyt, The Financial Times

“There is an obsessive quality to the best of these stories that makes them feel pregnant with inscrutable meaning . . . It is testament to the depth and distinctiveness of Power’s characters that it seems so important to try to understand them, even as they fail to understand themselves.” —Edmund Gordon, The Sunday Times

“In Power’s remarkable debut, he depicts mood, happenstance, self-deception and epiphany as well as any of his heroes. In using studied artifice, leaving out everything extraneous, he reveals life’… More…

"Power's wide-ranging debut is confident, complex, bizarre, poignant, and elegantly crafted—a very strong collection." —Kirkus

"Sparkling . . . There’s plenty to admire in Power’s writing, and the author mines his characters for unexpected traits and decisions, making for an auspicious debut." —Publishers Weekly

"The extraordinary thing about Chris Power’s stories is the range of personalities and worlds he can inhabit. The sentences and paragraphs are simple but the more you look at them, the deeper they become. How wonderful to encounter this great new talent." —Akhil Sharma, author of A Life of Adventure and Delight

“Daring . . . Compelling . . . A uniquely unsettling and subtle debut collection.” —Melissa Harrison, The Guardian

"Unsettling . . . These are strange stories, forbidding and unnerving, which need to be read carefully with an ear trained to what isn't being said, what isn't being heard." —Susie Boyt, The Financial Times

“There is an obsessive quality to the best of these stories that makes them feel pregnant with inscrutable meaning . . . It is testament to the depth and distinctiveness of Power’s characters that it seems so important to try to understand them, even as they fail to understand themselves.” —Edmund Gordon, The Sunday Times

“In Power’s remarkable debut, he depicts mood, happenstance, self-deception and epiphany as well as any of his heroes. In using studied artifice, leaving out everything extraneous, he reveals life’s complexity: the very chaos that we reckon with by telling stories.” —Philip Maughan, New Statesman

“To read Mothers is to take a journey through a landscape familiar enough to console yet strange enough to unsettle. The thrills and dangers of such a journey lie with the unexpectedness of life’s undercurrents and our uncertain, unknowable selves. Chris Power’s quiet yet compelling touch is reminiscent of Alice Munro and Peter Stamm.” —Yiyun Li, author of Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

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Chris Power

Chris Power lives and works in London. His column, A Brief Survey of the Short Story, has appeared in The Guardian since 2007. He has written for the BBC, The New York Times, and the New Statesman. His fiction has been published in Granta, The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, and The White Review, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Mothers is his first book.

image of Chris Power o
Claudia Burlotti

Chris Power

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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