The Tao of Humiliation (American Readers Series)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Best New Fiction of May 2014, Typographical Era
Alternately chilling, funny, devastating, and hopeful, these 17 stories introduce us to a theater critic who winds up in a hot tub with the actress he routinely savages in reviews; a biographer who struggles to discover why a novelist stopped writing; a student who contends with her predatory professor; and the startling scenario of the last satyr meeting his last woman.
Writer-in-residence and a professor of English at Lafayette College, Lee Upton is author of twelve books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
reality was worse than whatever he could capture in a still image. On that afternoon so long ago, had my father been dissatisfied with how little he could find as evidence of a greater truth? Had he planted images upon duplicate images to suggest—to horrify—to illustrate what he knew to be true and to make us imagine what we could not witness? Had he created an art of consequence? Had he faithfully documented a dimension of the truth that would otherwise remain invisible? I stared into the
of me as the sort of office manager who fired people easily and often and thoughtlessly. As I recall it now, I made a point on the third and fourth days of her first week to stop by her desk. I even brought her coffee twice to show her that there was nothing to worry about. Once, I watched her when she couldn’t see me. She was looking into a compact of facial powder with such concentration that I wondered what she could be seeing. She squinted at her reflection. She actually licked her lips.
that if she were a sweater she would look nice until you turned her inside out and saw all the loose knots and clumped spots. She tried to sell me some angora yarn but backed off immediately when she sensed my lack of interest. She had a superior air, and so it was likely that she owned the shop. It occurred to me too that she must have been a fabulous knitter and had successfully changed her avocation into a vocation. I tried to imagine her reputedly fast fingers clicking the needles, but of
wreck any claim I had on the house and on my uncle. What she guessed about my feelings for Conor had something to do with it all too. Ana Su keeps telling me that I did the right thing—that it wasn’t revenge so much as good sense. Although I would be entitled to revenge, she says. She confessed over the phone that the summer after I left she got inside my uncle’s house and looked around for me as if I had to be hiding there somehow, as if it was a lie that I had ever left. She promised that
the inn’s front façade, but at the far rear, away from the traffic cones, an ornamental bridge spanned a mock lagoon. Tables were arranged on the flagstones and a stage was erected past the umbrella chairs and potted palms. The boy from the lake was nowhere in evidence. “Is this your first luau?” Oliver asked. He put his hand on Shana’s shoulder. She flinched. “I’m sorry,” he said. Shana apologized in turn. “My nerves,” she said. His hand didn’t move. From opposite her, Shana could feel