Livability by Jon Raymond

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A tired man, struggling to overcome the loss of his wife in a car accident. Two old friends, hoping to rediscover their connection on a trip to the woods. A screenwriter hoping to hear news about the future of his film.In Jon Raymond's deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters contend with the frustrations, longings, and mood swings we face every day. Artfully conveying the feeling of lived experience, these stories brim with gratifying sensory detail: the sound of a tree root snapping underfoot, the smell of a roast, the stillness of the air after music has stopped. And, with careful observations and a humane spirit, Livability gives us a portrait of America full of characters finding ways to survive their own choices.Published to coincide with the national release of Wendy and Lucy, these refined, elegiac stories are the work of a writer with a long and promising career ahead of him.

About Jon Raymond

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Jon Raymond is the author of the novel The Half-Life, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2004, and the short story collection Livability, winner of the 2009 Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. He is the writer of several films, including Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, and cowriter of the Emmy-nominated screenplay for the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. Raymond's writing has appeared in Bookforum, Artforum, Tin House, the Village Voice, and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family.
Published July 1, 2009 by Bloomsbury USA. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Livability

Kirkus Reviews

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In “The Coast,” a long-married man, recently widowed and spending time by the ocean to mourn, meets an old friend and possibly starts a new chapter in his life.

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San Francisco Chronicle

In Jon Raymond's nine short stories, titled "Livability," he gives us characters who are leading "lives of quiet desperation," as Henry David Thoreau might have put it.

Jan 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Livability: Stories

Austin Chronicle

Like Miranda July, whose blurb adorns the cover of his new story collection, Jon Raymond seeks to explore the subtle undercurrents that shift the lives of characters foraging through the inert gloom of the Pacific Northwest.

Jan 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Livability: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

Reading Raymond’s short stories, though, I was able to better understand how he might have liked them to function.

Sep 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Livability: Stories

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