The Tao of Humiliation

Lee Upton (Author)

Product Details

$16.00  $14.72
BOA Editions
Publish Date
May 13, 2014
5.2 X 0.7 X 7.9 inches | 0.65 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Lee Upton is the author of twelve other books, including the novella The Guide to the Flying Island, and a collection of essays about writing, Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition Boredom Purity & Secrecy. Her poetry has appeared in editions of The Best American Poetry and has been included in numerous anthologies as well as in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Harvard Review, New England Review, Poetry, and other magazines. More than three dozen of her short stories have been published, appearing in such journals as Antioch Review, Epoch, Short Fiction (England), Redivider, Northwest Review, Shenandoah, and Ascent. She has published more than fifty articles and essays about literature. Her awards include: the Lyric Poetry Award and The Writer/Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America; the Pushcart Prize; the National Poetry Series Award; the Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Award; the BOA Short Fiction Prize; and the Mary Louise VanArtsdalen Prize for Scholarship, the Marquis Teaching Award, and the Jones Faculty Lecture Award at Lafayette College, where she is the Writer-in-Residence and a professor of English.


"Readers will want to live inside this wonderful book -- not just in its parties and wrecked gatherings and sophisticated conversations but in the sentences themselves, which are genuine shelters: long, erudite, warmhearted and capable, brimming with scholarship and knowledge. In its own way, each sentence is a container filled with something revelatory." --The New York Times Book Review, Sunday Shortlist

"Masterful stories by a writer of great lyrical gifts. Upton focuses on personal relationships, especially the immediacy and estrangement that emerge from the intensity of family life ... Upton specializes in ending her stories with epiphanies that can be searing in their poignancy. These 17 tales explore personal and familial relationships with both pathos and humor--and all are well worth reading." --Kirkus Starred Review

"Poet, essayist, and fiction writer Upton's stories are playful, full of clever allusions that are deftly presented ... Upton's story openings tend to be vivid; they're great hooks ... This is a smart and highly entertaining book." --Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"These well-imagined stories bear the mark of the poet in the best sense, and the reader will not soon forget them."
--Library Journal Starred Review

"Upton, award-winning poet and literary critic, shows her mastery of the short form ... This entertaining collection will appeal to fans of a variety of literary authors, such as Grace Paley, Edith Pearlman, and Louis Norda." --Booklist

"Lee Upton's stories in The Tao of Humiliation are startlingly original, emotionally compelling, and delicately crafted, making them that most satisfying of finds: a great read."
--Bathsheba Monk, WDIY, Lehigh Valley's NPR Affiliate

"Simply put, this is one of the finest short story collections published in 2014. Alternately chilling, funny, devastating, and hopeful, Upton's 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 woman who searches through her past lives to recall a romantic encounter with the poet Yeats; a student who contends with her predatory professor; and the poignant scenario of the last satyr meeting his last woman. This is short story writing at its best." --BUSTLE

"I really like the stories in Lee Upton's The Tao of Humiliation, witty, solidly constructed pieces that are really unlike anything I've read before. I'm curious, of course, as to whether there's more stories that feature a bunch of fragile males trying to sort out their feelings in hotel conference rooms, or if it's just coincidence that two of the three I read feature this set-up. Either way, I'm going to read more of this book, as it's a good one." -- Michael Czyzniejewski, creator of Story 366