The Ugliest House in the World: Stories
DescriptionBorn in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Peter Ho Davies writes stories that not only reflect his multinational heritage but delight in their own odd juxtapositions. Moving fluidly from the present to the past, from Coventry to Kuala Lumpur, from moral seriousness to broad comedy, these varied tales are united by an elegant intelligence, a sly sense of humor, and a deeply humanistic feeling for the mystery and grace of inner lives. In the heartbreaking title story, a rural community in North Wales copes with a child's death and learns the reach of guilt. "The Silver Screen" follows the fortunes of a group of ragtag rebels in Malaya whose hapless effort to join a communist uprising plays like an outtake from the Keystone Kops. In the collection's central novella, "A Union, " a slate miner laid off during a prolonged strike struggles with the complex strains on his marriage. Consequential events touch all these affecting characters in ways both surprising and profound.
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About the Author
PETER HO DAVIES's novel, The Fortunes, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a London Times best-seller, as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His fiction has appeared in Harpers, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, and Granta and has been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories.
"The eight stories in this first collection from British-born Oregonian Davies promise to keep you on your toes. They start benignly, often comically, but inevitably there comes a moment when, with the briefest of phrases, Davies startles the reader with a sudden turn down some melancholy and treacherous path." Publishers Weekly"Rarely have ordinary mortals been so affectionately portrayed as they stumble into the jaws of history and cultural collision. Davies is a writer to behold with real pleasure." - Gish Jen --