Thirst by Ken Kalfus

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Distinguished by black comedy and an international perspective, Ken Kalfus' stories frequently fold into each other and are most often about the abrupt dislocation of people bumping into different cultures, be they real, hallucinated, dreamed, or desired. His characters — which include an endless line of refugees fleeing Sarajevo with no particular destination, an Irish au pair plagued by her own psychosexual fears in a Paris science museum, and an entirely fictitious baseball league — are constantly thumping their heads against a shifting reality. Kalfus' sympathetic portraits of human beings caught in the tectonic cultural shifts that disrupt our lives are frequently hilarious, consistently touching, and powerfully creative.

About Ken Kalfus

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Ken Kalfus is the author of two novels, The Commissariat of Enlightenment and A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. He's also published two collections of stories, Thirst and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His books have been translated into more than ten foreign languages. He lives in Philadelphia.
Published February 1, 2010 by Milkweed Editions. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Kalfus’s least resonant efforts are his most “realistic,” as in the suburban tale of boyhood cruelty to animals (“Cats in Space”) or the Hemingway-esque effort about coming home again (“Among the Bulgarians”), which lies limp on the page in spite of its echoes of classics like “Soldier’s Home.” T...

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ForeWord Reviews

A surrealness also exists within these stories, specifically “Cats in Space” and “Night and Day You Are One.” The former deals with an adolescent coming of age within the bonds of a sort of vicious, insensitive teenage prank, while the latter explores the concept of parallel existences that are c...

Jun 15 1998 | Read Full Review of Thirst

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