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A Natural History of Hell
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About the Author

Jeffrey Ford: Jeffrey Ford was born on Long Island in New York State in 1955 and grew up in the town of West Islip. He studied fiction writing with John Gardner at S.U.N.Y Binghamton. He's been a college English teacher of writing and literature for 30 years. He is the author of eight novels including The Girl in the Glass and four short story collections. He has received the World Fantasy, Nebula, Edgar, and Shirley Jackson awards. He lives with his wife Lynn in a century old farm house in a land of slow clouds and endless fields.

Reviews

"'The Blameless' is . . . a perfect example of Ford's eerie subversion of mundane life. In it, suburban parents have begun throwing their children exorcisms as rites of passage, and the premise delivers plenty of black humor and bone-dry social satire." -- Jason Heller, NPR "A series of hits that linger long after you've finished reading. The mundane seems fantastical when penned by Ford, and the fantastical dreadfully human. Stories range from surreal daily life, to epic fantasy, to Gothic Americana and far, far beyond. It's hard to pick a favorite, so I recommend you read them all." -- RT Book Reviews **** "In this collection of 13 stories, Ford showcases his award-winning talent for crafting creepy tales that bend the world as we know it in unexpected ways. Although the stories are not linked, they do share a common theme: wickedness lurking just beneath the surface of everyday life. And while each uses different degrees of the supernatural to get there, all employ a dark and uneasy atmosphere, quirky characters, and thought-provoking endings, with delightfully unsettling results. . . . This collection is a good choice for fans of short stories by Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, or Kevin Brockmeier." -- Booklist (starred review) "Celebrated short-form fantasist Ford blends subtle psychological horror with a mix of literary history, folklore, and SF in this collection of 13 short stories, all focused on the struggles, sorrows, and terrors of daily life. Each tale gently twists perceptions, diving down into the ordinary and coming back out with a thoughtful nugget of the extraordinary. Readers will be alarmed by how easily they relate to the well-meaning but inevitably destructive characters." -- Publishers Weekly Best Books of Summer "13 tales that revel in the dark and strange, exhibiting ardent and pliable storytelling that ranges from suburban exorcisms to ghosts in bucolic 1915 Ohio. Each story in this collection displays Ford's vigorous invention and witty idiosyncrasy in explorations of the wicked and violent corners of the imagination, but the variety of subject, setting, and tone ensures that the book never slips into an authorial haze. . . . The entire collection has a zeal for imagination and an unabashed pleasure in both entertainment and graceful writing that is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's short fiction. Ford has a knack for choosing the precise words that evoke an image and leave enough room for it to bloom. "Later, the rain started in again. The sound and smell of spring came through the screen of their bedroom window while he dreamt in the language the angels dream in, and she, of the land without worry." -- Kirkus Reviews "An excellent collection of stories." -- Weird Fiction Review "A truly outstanding writer." -- Locus Praise for Jeffrey Ford's award-winning books: "Surreal, unsettling, and more than a little weird. Ford has a rare gift for evoking mood with just a few well-chosen words and for creating living, breathing characters with only a few lines of dialogue." --Booklist "Children are the original magic realists. The effects that novelists of a postmodern bent must strive for come naturally to the young, a truth given inventive realization in this wonderful quasi-mystery tale by Jeffrey Ford."--Boston Globe on THE SHADOW YEAR "Jeffrey Ford s latest triumph, THE SHADOW YEAR, is as haunting as it is humorous readers will recognize real talent in Ford s vivid, unerring voice." --Louisville Courier Journal on THE SHADOW YEAR "Superb, heartbreaking, and masterfully written . . . It s proof of Jeffrey Ford s narrative power that, ultimately, the distinction [between real and invented] doesn t much matter. His made-up world trumps ours." --Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction "The Shadow Year captures the totality of a lived period, its actualities and its dreams, its mundane essentials and its odd subjective imperatives; it is a work of episodic beauty and mercurial significance."--Nick Gevers, Locus "Jeffrey Ford is one of the few writers who uses wonder instead of ink in his pen."--Jonathan Carroll, author of The Wooden Sea "Unusual and provocative...sometimes shocking, sometimes mesmerizing, sometimes humorous, this collection will please fans of Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor. Recommended." (School Library Journal on THE DROWNED LIFE) "Spooky and hypnotic...Recommended for all public libraries." (Library Journal) "Ford travels deep into the wild country that is childhood in this novel ...the observations and adventures of these sharp, wayward children provide more than enough depth to be satisfying." (New York Times on THE SHADOW YEAR) "A collection of surreal, melancholy stories dealing with everything from worlds of the drifting dead to drunken tree parties. Ford is the author of the superlative, creepy Well-Built City trilogy and his writing is both powerful and disturbing in the best possible way." (Gawker on THE DROWNED LIFE) "[Ford's] writing is both powerful and disturbing in the best possible way." (io9 on Jeffrey Ford) "The 16 stories in this collection are a perfect introduction to Ford's work and illustrate the vast range of his imagination...If you haven't discovered Ford, it's time you did. His carefully crafted novels and short stories are all top-notch. Grade: A." (Rocky Mountain News) Praise for Jeffrey Ford's award-winning books: Surreal, unsettling, and more than a little weird. Ford has a rare gift for evoking mood with just a few well-chosen words and for creating living, breathing characters with only a few lines of dialogue. --Booklist "Children are the original magic realists. The effects that novelists of a postmodern bent must strive for come naturally to the young, a truth given inventive realization in this wonderful quasi-mystery tale by Jeffrey Ford."--Boston Globe on THE SHADOW YEAR Jeffrey Ford s latest triumph, THE SHADOW YEAR, is as haunting as it is humorous readers will recognize real talent in Ford s vivid, unerring voice. --Louisville Courier Journal on THE SHADOW YEAR Superb, heartbreaking, and masterfully written . . . It s proof of Jeffrey Ford s narrative power that, ultimately, the distinction [between real and invented] doesn t much matter. His made-up world trumps ours. --Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction "The Shadow Year captures the totality of a lived period, its actualities and its dreams, its mundane essentials and its odd subjective imperatives; it is a work of episodic beauty and mercurial significance."--Nick Gevers, Locus "Jeffrey Ford is one of the few writers who uses wonder instead of ink in his pen."--Jonathan Carroll, author of The Wooden Sea Unusual and provocativesometimes shocking, sometimes mesmerizing, sometimes humorous, this collection will please fans of Raymond Carver and Flannery O Connor. Recommended. (School Library Journal on THE DROWNED LIFE) Spooky and hypnotic...Recommended for all public libraries. (Library Journal) Ford travels deep into the wild country that is childhood in this novel the observations and adventures of these sharp, wayward children provide more than enough depth to be satisfying. (New York Times on THE SHADOW YEAR) A collection of surreal, melancholy stories dealing with everything from worlds of the drifting dead to drunken tree parties. Ford is the author of the superlative, creepy Well-Built City trilogy and his writing is both powerful and disturbing in the best possible way. (Gawker on THE DROWNED LIFE) [Ford s] writing is both powerful and disturbing in the best possible way. (io9 on Jeffrey Ford) The 16 stories in this collection are a perfect introduction to Ford s work and illustrate the vast range of his imaginationIf you haven t discovered Ford, it s time you did. His carefully crafted novels and short stories are all top-notch. Grade: A. (Rocky Mountain News)"

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