A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel
Stories

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Each story in this collection finds a way to record the tensions between the corporeal and the invisible, the forces that animate us but ultimately can’t be dissected, our anti-anatomies.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Reminiscent of Aimee Bender and Karen Russell—an enthralling collection that uses the world of the imagination to explore the heart of the human condition.

Major literary talent Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, coming Summer 2016, combines the otherworldly wisdom of her much-loved debut novel, No One Is Here Except All of Us, with the precision of the short-story form. A Guide toBeing Born is organized around the stages of life—love, conception, gestation, birth—and the transformations that happen as people experience deeply altering life events, falling in love, becoming parents, looking toward the end of life. In each of these eleven stories Ausubel’s stunning imagination and humor are moving, entertaining, and provocative, leading readers to see the familiar world in a new way.

In “Atria” a pregnant teenager believes she will give birth to any number of strange animals rather than a human baby; in “Catch and Release” a girl discovers the ghost of a Civil War hero living in the woods behind her house; and in “Tributaries” people grow a new arm each time they fall in love. Funny, surprising, and delightfully strange—all the stories have a strong emotional core; Ausubel’s primary concern is always love, in all its manifestations.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Ramona Ausubel

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RAMONA AUSUBEL is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine. She has been published in The New Yorker, One Story, The Paris Review Daily, and Best American Fantasy. She is the recipient of the Glenn Schaeffer Award in fiction, and was a finalist for the Puschcart Prize. Ausubel lives in California.
 
Published May 2, 2013 by Riverhead Books. 207 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A Guide to Being Born
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Helen Oyeyemi on May 03 2013

Each story in this collection finds a way to record the tensions between the corporeal and the invisible, the forces that animate us but ultimately can’t be dissected, our anti-anatomies.

Read Full Review of A Guide to Being Born: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Anthony Bukoski on Jul 13 2013

Desperate to merge with someone or something beyond themselves, these characters act in startling ways...They know that by caring for another and being cared for in return, they can glimpse the divine.

Read Full Review of A Guide to Being Born: Stories | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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80%

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