The Three Button Trick And Other Stories by Nicola Barker

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Nicola Barker, Man Booker Prize–shortlisted author of Darkmans and The Yips and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and Hawthornden Prize, gathers her finest short fiction in this irresistible collection Audacious, original, clever, poignant—these are just a few words that describe the writing of Nicola Barker, an award-winning author who has been compared to Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, and Margaret Atwood. Now nineteen of her finest short stories have been compiled into one startling, delightfully readable volume. It takes young Carrie twenty-one years and a chance meeting with an eighty-three-year-old widow to realize she fell victim to her husband’s “three button trick.” The main character in “Wesley” must work through his troubled childhood in a series of episodes involving masses of eels, an imaginary friend named Joy, and an unmentionable incident with an emu-owl. Whether describing erotic encounters behind clothing racks or a kleptomaniac with his organs on the wrong side, these stories never fail to surprise us, entertain us, and make us think. “Nicola Barker’s is a singular world, a hectic place of uncommon characters and naughty, memorable prose . . . Her style is fast, funny, profound, and sharp.” —Newsday “An astounding writer.” —Seattle Weekly “Barker’s subjects are often raw and irreverently sexy, while her endings are sometimes abrupt, but she never fails to surprise and delight with incisive writing and piercing wit, to say nothing of all the vivid characters inhabiting these rambunctious and witty stories.” —Publishers Weekly Nicola Barker’s eight previous novels include Darkmans (short-listed for the 2007 Man Booker and Ondaatje prizes, and winner of the Hawthornden Prize), Wide Open (winner of the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and Clear (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2004). She has also written two prize-winning collections of short stories, and her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in East London.

About Nicola Barker

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Nicola Barker is one of Britain's most original and exciting literary talents. She is the author of two short-story collections: Love Your Enemies [winner of the David Higham Prize and the Macmillan Silver Pen Award] and Heading Inland [winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize]. Her previous novels are Reversed Forecast, Small Holdings, Wide Open Behindlings and Clear, the last of which was long-listed for the 2005 Booker Prize. Her work is translated into twenty languages, and in 2000, she won the IMPAC Award for Wide Open. In 2003, Nicola Barker was named a Granta Best of British Novelist. She lives in London.
Published October 16, 2012 by Open Road Media. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In “Skin,” two young women, longtime friends, are driven apart when one of them has an odd (and liberating) sexual encounter with a male shoplifter at the clothing store where she works, finding that the event opens up a new world to her, one that is “simple, unadulterated, natural and yet unnatu...

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The Guardian

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Meanwhile English stiffness is satirised (quite literally in "The Piazza Barberini", the story of a 24-hour erection), English physical repression is liberated, English metaphysical repression is understood and Barker's preoccupation with cliché and word-consciousness is celebrated in story after...

Jul 05 2003 | Read Full Review of The Three Button Trick And Ot...

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