The Heart Is a Full-Wild Beast: New and Selected Stories

Product Details
$28.00  $26.04
Public Space Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.1 X 1.7 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author
John L'Heureux was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He spent seventeen years as a Jesuit priest, after which he worked as an editor at the Atlantic; and for more than thirty years taught American literature and creative writing at Stanford, where he was the longtime director of the writing program. His stories appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Harper's. He was the author of twenty-three books, including the novels The Beggar's Pawn, The Medici Boy, and The Shrine at Altamira; and the short-story collections Desires and Comedians. He lived with his wife in northern California until his death in 2019.
L'Heureux's own expertise is in our sites of afflictive potential.... he lands, with gleeful precision, on death, sex, regret and then death again. But God's wry grace always comes through at the last.
--Annalisa Quinn, New York Times

A posthumously published collection by beloved local author John L'Heureux, a former Jesuit priest and the longtime director of the Stanford Creative Program, is the book I keep at my bedside. These illuminating stories range from humorous to tragic, each a true gift of compassion and grace.
--Aggie Zivaljevic (Kepler's Books), the Almanac

John L'Heureux's work is revelatory. In the way of master writers, so much of what he accomplishes on the page seems effortless and organic, divinely inspired. This book will change you, and his voice and his characters will stay with you long after you leave them.
--Jesmyn Ward

Bursting with elegant prose and capturing the deepest yearnings of the human heart, this collection stands as an invaluable testament to John L'Heureux's life and work.
--David Henry Hwang

The Heart Is a Full-Wild Beast is a brilliant collection, a showcase of John L'Heureux's vast talents. These stories are incisive, sometimes sardonic, always complex and always marked by John L'Heureux's intense compassion for his characters--and the rest of us.
--Scott Turow

These stories--interweaving the mundane with the profound, tragedy with comedy--are relentless, hilarious, sly, and astonishing. One can find every aspect of life here: ambition and disappointment, franticness and triumph. But these stories are more than just a chronicle of life. At a time when we are increasingly waylaid by the transient and discardable, this collection of a writer's lifework feels like an essential and heroic act; and restores a true faith in life.
--Yiyun Li

[His] stories embody a strong sense of humor about the vagaries of faith and life and the fragility of human convictions.... He allowed his characters both their comic foibles and their occasional, unexpected moments of grace.
--Deborah Treisman

In reading his work, one can see, feel, the demands he makes on himself for exactitude, essence, emotional honesty, aesthetic freshness, digging deep for the truths of our thoughts and desires and presenting his findings without flinching, even--no, especially--when they challenge our self-conceptions and certainties, and trouble the heart.
--Tobias Wolff

Darkly funny, bittersweet, audacious, tender.
--Joyce Carol Oates