In a spine-tingling new collection, the unique and wickedly funny Helen Phillips offers an idiosyncratic series of 'what-ifs' about our fragile human condition.
What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet? What if you could suddenly see through everybody's skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgangers of you?
Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips' characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world. We meet a wealthy woman who purchases a high-tech sex toy in the shape of a man, a rowdy, moody crew of college students who resolve the energy crisis, and orphaned twin sisters who work as futuristic strippers - and with Phillips' characteristic smarts and imagination, we see that no one is quite who they appear.
By turns surreal, witty, and perplexing, these marvellous stories are ultimately a reflection of our own reality and of the big questions that we all face. Who are we? Where do we fit? Phillips is a true original and an exciting new voice.
Helen Phillips is the author of the widely acclaimed novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, also published by Pushkin Press. Her debut collection And Yet They Were Happy was named a notable book by The Story Prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.
0 - 0