Stay Awake by Dan Chaon

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The best of his stories arouse a feeling of deep foreboding.
-NY Times


“Eerily beautiful . . . [Chaon] is the modern day John Cheever.”—Boston Sunday Globe
“Powerful and disturbing . . . The shocks in this collection are many.”—The Washington Post
These haunting, suspenseful stories by acclaimed author Dan Chaon feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls—lost, fragile, searching characters who wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection—and exist in a twilight realm, in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But it is not, and neither are you. And since you cannot sleep, you stay awake.
“Chaon is able to create fully realized characters in mere pages. . . . This collection is further proof that Chaon is one of the best fiction writers working right now.”—Omaha World-Herald
“There are not many fiction writers who can do what Dan Chaon can do. . . . [He is] a literary force.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Intense and suspenseful . . . a highly recommended work, not to be missed.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Mesmerizing . . . gripping, masterful fiction.”—The Plain Dealer
“Superbly disquieting.”—The New York Times Book Review
Don’t miss the exclusive conversation between Dan Chaon and Emma Straub at the back of the book.

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About Dan Chaon

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Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications; and Await Your Reply, which was a New York Times Notable Book and appeared on more than a dozen "Best of the Year" lists. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.
Published February 7, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Stay Awake
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Mcgrath on Feb 03 2012

The best of his stories arouse a feeling of deep foreboding.

Read Full Review of Stay Awake: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times


Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Feb 06 2012

...Chaon does it with emotional daring. He elucidates, flawlessly, the worst part of grief — that feeling of living an unending nightmare, unable to go to sleep, unable to stay awake.

Read Full Review of Stay Awake: Stories | See more reviews from NPR

LA Times

Reviewed by Chris Barton on Mar 18 2012

...Chaon twists the story's conclusion with a chilling break in the narration to address the reader, alone with his words, all struggling in our own way.

Read Full Review of Stay Awake: Stories | See more reviews from LA Times

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