Extremities: Stories

Extremities: Stories

ISBN: 1568581505

ISBN 13: 9781568581507

Publication Date: January 05, 2000

Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback

Author: Kathe Koja

3.80 of 157

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In the 16 stories of Extremities, Kathe Koja enters the lives of ordinary people caught in extraordinary and often disturbing situations. In "Bird Superior," for example, a plane-crash survivor trades his memory of the crash for the ability to fly. "Angels in Love" is the story of Lurleen, a washed-out woman trapped in a meaningless cycle of dead-end work, singles bars, and solitude. She lives vicariously by eavesdropping on Anne, a neighbor who seems to have found the passion and sexual satisfaction that eludes Lurleen. Upon meeting Anne, however, she discovers an even more meaningless life: Anne has made the ultimate trade, exchanging her soul for physical fulfillment. In "The Ballad of the Spanish Civil Guard," an imprisoned poet who writes on behalf of the dispossessed shares the last moments of his life with the reader. Although the location of the prison is unclear, the scene recalls the Franco regime. The poet chooses to die rather than face a life without his writing, but, in his final seconds, he takes solace that his remains may one day form the body of a new poet.

Extremities is Koja's sixth book. Her writing is lush and poetic, yet at the same time she leaves much unsaid, counting on the reader to ground the stories with his or her own sense of place. Koja's blend of mundane characters, supernatural or at least unexplained situations, and a constant undercurrent of the erotic, is a satisfying and disturbing gateway into another world. Each story, unique in character and setting, gives a snapshot of an existence where reality and nightmares collide. --Andy Bookwalter

Angels in Love (1991)
Arrangement for Invisible Voices (1993)
Ballad of the Spanish Civil Guard (1993)
Bird Superior (1991)
Bondage (1998)
Illusions in Relief (1990)
Jubilee (1995)
Lady Lazarus (1996)
Pas de Deux (1995)
Queen of Angels (1994)
Reckoning (1990)
Teratisms (1991)
The Company of Storms (1992)
The Disquieting Muse (1994)
The Neglected Garden (1991)
Waking the Prince (1995)

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