The Unsettling by Peter Rock Selected and Introduced by Brian Evenson
A stunning, Poe-esque collection of short fiction about outsiders, lost dogs, romance, and life’s surprising mysteries.
Populated by strangers, ghosts, and other shadowy figures, the thirteen stories in The Unsettling attend to those startling moments when what we have understood as familiar is suddenly revealed as mysterious and foreign. A lonely man saving library books from an outbreak of mold listens to a coworker’s tale about a blind woman and imbues it with his own sense of romance; a woman drives a Gold Firebird through the desert with a television playing “Rockford Files” reruns on the passenger seat; and a girl returns to her childhood home to spy on its new inhabitants, not realizing they are aware of her surveillance; a Poe-obsessed medical examiner constructs ornate scenes in an attempt to provoke hope in the forgotten lives of a dark and desperate city.
Told through Rock’s imaginative and wholly original voice, these are haunted tales about fascination, transformation, and the relationship between the two.
“The Unsettling strikes me as not only an excellent book but an important one: the stories can be read as taking different paths into and out of realism in a way that deftly marks out a new continuity between the real and the fantastic, a continuity that traces the possibility of a new literary landscape”
—from the Introduction by Brian Evenson
“Rock’s prose calls to mind Kazuo Ishiguro, not just for its spareness but also for its mix of wonder and creepiness.” The New York Times
“(Rock’s books are) not for everyone. (They are) for a certain kind of person who is ready to think about these haunted and desperate and beautiful stories for the rest of their lives. Open his book(s) and you will learn, among many other things, if this is you.” Daniel Handler
“Peter Rock (is) a master at making strange behavior and strange situations utterly believable and filling them with unbearable suspense.” Ursula K. Le Guin
5.5” x 8.25”, $18.00
Paperback, 264 pages
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