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Selected Blackouts

John Goldbach’s utterly original debut collection offers funny and penetrating tales of people struggling with faith, addiction, sex and mortality. These stories follow characters through crack-ups, meltdowns and blackouts. A man faces the existential void as he tries to quit smoking with a self-help book; an overheated cooking show host battles the Cancún sun with increasingly elaborate blender drinks; and small-town teenagers asphyxiate themselves for something to do. Generous and knowing, the eleven stories in Selected Blackouts read with all the strange clarity of coming to.

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