Charity by Mark Richard

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With Charity, Mark Richard again secures the distinction of poet laureate of the orphaned poor, the broken, the deceived, and the unrelieved. In stylistic brilliance, he renders their conditions with grace and compassion, and redeems and transports their tragedy with wicked humor.

In the much-anthologized "The Birds for Christmas," two hospitalized boys beg a night nurse to let them watch Hitchcock's classic thriller film on television, believing it will relieve their Yuletide loneliness. "Gentleman's Agreement" is a classic father-son story of fear and the violence of love. In "Memorial Day," a bayou boy learns the lessons of living from Death himself, a fortune cookie-eating phantom who claims to be "a people person." From charity ward to outrageous beach bungalow, Richard visits the overlooked corners of America, making them unforgettably visible.

Richard has been rightly compared to Faulkner for his language and to Flannery O'Connor for his stark moral vision, but his force and sensibility remain his own. Charity is a powerful reading experience, a true accomplishment in an already stunning literary career.

About Mark Richard

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MARK RICHARD is the author of two award-winning short story collections, The Ice at the Bottom of the World and Charity, and the novel Fishboy. His short stories and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, Vogue, and GQ. He is the recipient of the PEN/Hemingway Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Foundation Writer's Award. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their three sons.
Published April 24, 2013 by Anchor. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Charity

Publishers Weekly

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In ""Gentleman's Agreement,"" a weary father, too poor on a firefighter's wages to pay a doctor to take the stitches out of his son's injured head, does it himself with pliers, ""snipping and tugging at the black silky thread that had bound together the torn flesh."" In ""The Birds for Christmas,...

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Entertainment Weekly

Richard's darkly carnivalesque cosmos gets even bleaker in this collection of stories about charity-ward children, freak accidents, and misfits who tipple malt liquor cut with formaldehyde.

Aug 14 1998 | Read Full Review of Charity

London Review of Books

Runciman, addressing the matter of tax relief for charities, asks: ‘What is the public benefit in donations made for the advancement of religion?’ The Church Times, published the same week, offers the following answer on page eight of its General Synod report: The Church as a whole reclaimed ‘abo...

Jul 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Charity

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