Large Animals in Everyday Life by Wendy Brenner

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The eleven stories in Wendy Brenner's debut story collection concern people who are alone or feel themselves to be alone: survivors negotiating between logic and faith who look for mysterious messages and connections in everyday life, those sudden transformations and small miracles that occur in mundane, even absurd settings.

Brenner's stories range in setting from the rural and southern (a rotating country music bar, a dog track/jai alai compound, a grocery store, a natural cold springs sinkhole) to the urban and high-tech (absurdly bureaucratic companies and academic departments and a food irradiation plant). Often young and tough women seeking to hone their survival sensibilities, Brenner's characters are a mix of the everyday and the fantastic: frustrated secretaries and scientists, a young supermodel, precocious children, fierce plumbers and mechanics, a psychic grandmother, an unhappy lottery winner, a desperate grocery-store mascot in an animal suit. And then there are the animals—real ones of all kinds who turn up at unlikely moments and often seem to be trying to help.


About Wendy Brenner

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Wendy Brenner is the author of the short story collection Phone Calls from the Dead. Her stories and essays have appeared in Seventeen, Allure, Oxford American, Best American Magazine Writing, and other publications. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Published July 19, 2012 by University of Georgia Press. 168 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Large Animals in Everyday Life

Kirkus Reviews

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The latest Flannery O'Connor Award winner offers a first volume of 11 stories (most originally published in literary reviews) featuring odd young women and men dealing with loss, failed relationships, and the difficulties of adulthood.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Large Animals in Everyday Life

Publishers Weekly

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PW gave a starred review to this intoxicatingly original collection of short stories, the winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. (July)

Jun 30 1997 | Read Full Review of Large Animals in Everyday Life

Publishers Weekly

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The characters in Brenner's sharp, witty debut story collection-winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction-come out springing, with voices as stimulating as a blast of cold air in the fre

Jul 29 1996 | Read Full Review of Large Animals in Everyday Life

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