A Tree or a Person or a Wall by Matt Bell
Stories

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The settings, and Bell’s sentences, reflect the shadowy emotional tenor of the collection: murky lakes, a mysterious satellite tower. The total effect is a collection that resonates like a tuning fork, lingering after the book is closed.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Here we have Matt Bell at his most inventive and uncanny: parents and children, murderers and monsters, wild renditions of the past, and stunning visions of the present, all of which build to a virtuoso reimagining of our world.

A 19th-century minister builds an elaborate motor that will bring about the Second Coming. A man with rough hands locks a boy in a room with an albino ape. An apocalyptic army falls under a veil of forgetfulness. The story of Red Riding Hood is run through a potentially endless series of iterations. A father invents an elaborate, consuming game for his hospitalized son. Indexes, maps, a checkered shirt buried beneath a blanket of snow: they are scattered through these pages as clues to mysteries that may never be solved, lingering evidence of the violence and unknowability of the world.

A Tree or a Person or a Wall brings together Bell’s previously published shorter fiction—the story collection How They Were Found and the acclaimed novella Cataclysm Baby—along with seven dark and disturbing new stories, to create a collection of singular power.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Matt Bell

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Matt Bell's first story collection, How They Were Found, was published in 2010 by Keyhole Press, and was reviewed in The Believer, American Book Review, and Bookslut, among many other venues. In 2012, Cataclysm Baby, a novella, was published by Mud Luscious Press, with blurbs by Karen Russell, Lucy Corin, Lance Olsen, and Chris Bachelder. Bell's fiction has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories 2010, Best American Fantasy 2, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction by Younger Writers, and shortlisted in Best American Short Stories 2010 and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He serves as Senior Editor at Dzanc Books and teaches writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
 
Published September 13, 2016 by Soho Press. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 08 2016

The settings, and Bell’s sentences, reflect the shadowy emotional tenor of the collection: murky lakes, a mysterious satellite tower. The total effect is a collection that resonates like a tuning fork, lingering after the book is closed.

Read Full Review of A Tree or a Person or a Wall:... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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