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"There's a new collection of short fiction out that you simply must read: Bobcat and Other Stories
by the new love of my reading life, Rebecca Lee. These stories blew me
away. I read the whole book on a flight from Kansas City to Austin. I
could. Not. Stop. Sharp writing, unconventional scenarios, characters
who are real. Lee's sentences excited me. Her sentences.
I've twisted the arm of every bookseller on staff to read this
collection. Lee's talent will knock you over the head. You'll be asking
yourself the same thing I did when I finished this book: Rebecca Lee, where have you been all my life? "
Rebecca Lee, one of our most gifted and original short story writers, guides readers into a range of landscapes, both foreign and domestic, crafting stories as rich as novels. A student plagiarizes a paper and holds fast to her alibi until she finds herself complicit in the resurrection of one professor's shadowy past. A dinner party becomes the occasion for the dissolution of more than one marriage. A woman is hired to find a wife for the one true soulmate she's ever found. In all, Rebecca Lee traverses the terrain of infidelity, obligation, sacrifice, jealousy, and yet finally, optimism. Showing people at their most vulnerable, Lee creates characters so wonderfully flawed, so driven by their desire, so compelled to make sense of their human condition, that it's impossible not to feel for them when their fragile belief in romantic love, domestic bliss, or academic seclusion fails to provide them with the sort of force field they'd expected.
About the Author
Rebecca Lee is professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the author of The City Is a Rising Tide. Her fiction has been read on NPR’s Selected Shorts, and her stories have been published in the Atlantic Monthly and Zoetrope. “Fialto,” which appears in this collection, was the winner of the National Magazine Award for fiction.
“The collection has so many good passages – whole paragraphs that move into pages with never a misstep – that any linguaphile could spend a great afternoon in a little spasm of dazzle. But a story is more than a collection of words, and these seven long tales demonstrate Lee’s prodigious talent for creating not just great lines but intricately structured, impressively plotted worlds.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Mesmerizingly strange . . . Full of shivers and frissons . . . Highly imaginative stories . . . [Lee’s] eccentric eloquence . . . makes Bobcat so potent and unpredictable.” —Janet Maslin for The New York Times
“Sometimes you reach the end of a story and go quietly, ‘Oh.’ And sometimes you gasp and go, ‘Holy guacamole!’ Not because a building fell down or a character died, but because the unexpected yet completely understandable came to pass—and made you fall off your chair. Again and again this happens in Rebecca Lee's slim, sly, brilliant book Bobcat.” —Oprah.com
“[W]ith deadpan humor, Lee’s light touch illuminates the contrasts in everyday life—warmth and cold, past and present, beauty and terror—imbuing her realistic tales with quiet depth.” —Bust
"Astonishing prose . . . This fresh, provocative collection, peerless in its vehement elucidation of contemporary foibles, is not to be missed." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[M]ake some room in your tote bag for this: ‘Bobcat,’ a slim volume of short stories by a prodigiously talented writer, Rebecca Lee. Her work is at once effortless and exacting, sophisticated and ribald.” —Denver Post
“[A] breath of fresh air, squarely realist, but possessed of some of its own strange magic, the kind of book that it feels right to call ‘dazzling’ and ‘understated’ in the same breath.” —Flavorwire
"Lee covers a wide terrain in only seven stories, touching on fidelity, sacrifice, jealousy, and obligation, with stories that often dial out slowly from tightly-focused beginnings."—PublishersWeekly.com, "Best Summer Books 2013" list
"A shining example of furious and smart writing." —LibraryJournal.com
“[An] arresting and distinctive short story collection . . . Lee’s gorgeously crafted, scintillating stories are imaginative and incisive, funny and profound.” —Booklist
"Bobcat and Other Stories is nothing short of brilliant. Rebecca Lee writes with the unflinching, cumulatively devastating precision of Chekhov and Munro, peeling back layer after layer of illusion until we're left with the truth of ourselves . . . This extraordinary story collection is sure to confirm its author as one of the best writers of her generation." —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"Rebecca Lee's unforgettable debut story collection, Bobcat, manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking, not to mention witty and wise. I was so thoroughly immersed in these universes, so glad to meet her characters, these inquisitive, open-hearted citizens of the world that I did not want the book to end." —Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
"So alive to itself that it made my skin buzz . . . Lee's [stories] roam and dart