“Gray manages. . . to transfer the cranky wisdom he has gathered through his 70 years into clear-headed observation of modern lifemarriage and relationships as well as the isolation, loss, and the failures which come from these interactionsand steadily dissect them with a mischievous eye.” Michael Standaert, The San Francisco Chronicle
The Ends of Our Tethers
Thirteen Sorry Stories
978-1-84195-626-8 • $12.00 • Paperback • Feb. 2005
The Ends of Our Tethers is the first work of fiction in seven years by “one of the most important living writers in English” (Stephen Bernstein, The New York Times)
Alasdair Gray is Scotland’s greatest living writer. Critics internationally compared his magnum opus, Lanark, to Joyce’s Dubliners, in its thorough, nuanced social examination of the peoples of Glasgow. Now, with The Ends of our Tethers, Gray’s long awaited, first fiction in seven years, American audiences have thirteen wry, topical, often hilarious stories to enjoy. Fans of the short fiction of Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, and T. Coraghessen Boyle, will revel in Gray’s masterful, witty performances.
In “Aiblins,” a writing professor is taunted by a perhaps-genius, perhaps-fraud student. In “Job’s Skin Game, the narrator humbly tells his life story like the evening news, including the strangely exquisite pleasure he receives from scratching at his skin condition. A condition he’s developed since losing his two sons in the Twin Towers as well as a small fortune in the dot-com meltdown.
Gray’s stories defy genre, and his angular, playful style, prodigious wit and razor-sharp intellect are matched by his remarkable skill with the short story form. The Ends of Our Tethers is vintage Grayaccessible, experimental, mischievous, wide ranging, beautifully written, and wise.