ISBN-10:
1555976166
ISBN-13:
9781555976163
Pub. Date:
Publisher:
No Animals We Could Name: Stories

No Animals We Could Name: Stories

by Ted Sanders

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Overview

No Animals We Could Name by Ted Sanders

The winner of the Bakeless Prize for Fiction, a bold debut collection

The animals (human or otherwise) in Ted Sanders's inventive, wistful stories are oddly familiar, yet unlike anyone you've met before. A lion made of bedsheets, with chicken bones for teeth, is brought to life by a grieving mother. When Raphael the pet lizard mysteriously loses his tail, his owners find themselves ever more desperate to keep him alive, in one sense or another. A pensive tug-of-war between an amateur angler and a halibut unfolds through the eyes of both fisherman and fish. And in the collection's unifying novella, an unusual guest's arrival at a party sets idle gears turning in startling new ways.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555976163
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 07/03/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Ted Sanders teaches at the University of Illinois and Parkland College in Urbana-Champaign. His stories have appeared in the Georgia Review and the O. Henry Prize Stories 2010, among other places.

Read an Excerpt

No Animals We Could Name

Stories
By TED SANDERS

Graywolf Press

Copyright © 2012 Ted Sanders
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-55597-616-3


Introduction

This is the music I have been waiting for, which is to say: the music made by the intersection of the visual, the sonic, the emotional, the tactile, the dramatic, and the gonzo. Ted Sanders is a fearless, wild, tremendously sensitive writer, who seems to write not only about the three dimensions of the world we live in, but also about the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth. How else can one account for this sentence, concerning the ontological condition of a halibut: "He swims on his side, affecting flatness." Or this, of a ghost hovering over her sleeping former husband: "Here in the night about this bed, you find yourself thickening down out of dark, gathering in his thoughts, shaped by his insistence." Or this, of a magazine resting in a woman's lap: "It arched over her thighs like a bird drawn by a child." Sanders tunes into all the stations at once, constructing a sound like no other, finding the spark of life in everything we can see, and can't. It doesn't seem like an accident that there are a lot of animals here: bears, fish, deer, lizards, lions, horses, octopi. Reading these stories is like looking into the eyes of an animal, finding there both recognition and unbridled otherness, a gaze returned to you that both is and isn't from a reality you already know and that may be ringed with fur, or legs. Even the machine in "Assembly" has its own odd life, its own agency, its own powers of invention.

This is the music of now. We see life everywhere—in our computers, in our phones, and as animals disappear we feel again the fresh, hard, erotic force of what we're about to lose. We can't quite return their backward glance. Our computers, closed, emit that pulse of light in a heartbeat rhythm, safe in dreamland. Sanders isn't writing about any of this per se, he is writing about men and women and children and animals, about beauty and loss. But he has hit upon a poetics of what it feels like to be alive right now, that blur of life that seems to be in everything, all the time, distributed in unpredictable, distressing, and deeply pleasurable ways simultaneously. The ghost, after having made a kind of spooky midnight love to her living husband, departs: "You curdle dearly from his skin."

This is the music of joy. Not easy joy, not necessarily permanent joy, not the joy you might expect. It is the joy in what is. The halibut, writes Sanders, "watches the light in his own eyes." Can anyone read that and not feel both thrilled and yearning, does anyone not want to watch the light in his or her own eyes? In story after story, Sanders reminds us that the light is there. The rest is up to us.

—Stacey D'Erasmo

(Continues...)



Excerpted from No Animals We Could Name by TED SANDERS Copyright © 2012 by Ted Sanders. Excerpted by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction by Stacey D'Erasmo....................ix
Obit....................3
Flounder....................11
Airbag: One....................23
Jane....................45
Putting the Lizard to Sleep....................51
The Lion....................97
The Whale Dream....................113
Airbag: Two....................115
Opinion of Person....................141
Momentary....................159
The Heart as a Fist....................189
deer in the road....................193
Airbag: Three....................199
Assembly....................223

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