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The Mountain : Stories
by Paul Yoon


Overview - A Best Books of 2017 Selection by * NPR * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal * Southern Living *

From Paul Yoon, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Once the Shore and Snow Hunters , comes a luminous collection of short stories set throughout the world--from the Hudson Valley to the Russian Far East--across periods of time after World War II.  Read more...


 
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More About The Mountain by Paul Yoon
 
 
 
Overview
A Best Books of 2017 Selection by * NPR * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal * Southern Living *

From Paul Yoon, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Once the Shore and Snow Hunters, comes a luminous collection of short stories set throughout the world--from the Hudson Valley to the Russian Far East--across periods of time after World War II.

In The Mountain, Paul Yoon displays his subtle, ethereal, and strikingly observant style with six thematically linked stories, taking place across several continents and time periods and populated with characters who are connected by their traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace in their futures. Though they exist in their own distinct worlds (from a sanatorium in the Hudson Valley to an inn in the Russian far east) they are united by the struggle to reconcile their traumatic pasts in the wake of violence, big and small, spiritual and corporeal. A morphine-addicted nurse wanders through the decimated French countryside in search of purpose; a dissatisfied wife sporadically takes a train across Spain with a much younger man in the wake of a building explosion; a lost young woman emigrates from Korea to Shanghai, where she aimlessly works in a camera sweat shop, trying fruitlessly to outrun the ghosts of her past.

Hailed by New York magazine as a "quotidian-surreal craft-master" and a "radiant star in the current literary firmament" by The Dallas Morning News, Yoon realizes his worlds with quiet, insightful, and gorgeous prose. Though each story is distinct from the others, his restrained voice and perceptive observations about violence--to the body, the landscape, and ultimately, the human soul--weaves throughout this collection as a whole, making The Mountain a beautiful, memorable read.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501154089
  • ISBN-10: 1501154087
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: August 2017
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 7 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Summer shorts

A great short story offers a quick and powerful reprieve from reality. If escape is what you crave, then check out the stellar new collections featured below. Written by three of today’s top literary fiction authors, these stories will sweep you away.

“People pretend the world is ordinary every day,” a character says in Samantha Hunt’s hypnotic collection, The Dark Dark. But Hunt knows better; her narrative worlds are twilit realms suffused with dark possibility, in which jarring connections and overpowering transformations prove the rule. In a taut, “Twin Peaks”-ish story called “The Yellow,” a dead dog is resurrected when the man who killed him shares a moment of unexpected intimacy with its owner. In the bleakly humorous “Love Machine,” an FBI agent develops romantic feelings for a robot. The narrator of “Beast”—a woman grappling with the routines of life and marriage—turns into a deer at night. That’s right—a deer. Equipped with a voice that’s delicately poetic yet quietly ominous, Hunt can make the impossible seem plausible. She’s in a class by herself.

GLOBE TROTTER
In his radiant new book, The Mountain, Paul Yoon moves with ease through eras and locales, from New York State in the early 1900s to modern-day Russia. Despite the disparate settings, the six stories in this collection feel of a piece, as each features displaced characters who are adrift in the world. The solitary narrator of “A Willow and the Moon” tries in the decades after World War II to come to terms with his family’s history. “Still a Fire” follows a drug-addicted nurse as she ekes out a meager existence in France during the late 1940s. Yoon uses precise, measured prose to create atmospheric narratives that lack neat resolutions. The Mountain’s overall mood is one of wistfulness—a feeling that stays with the reader after the final page has been turned.

MODERN PULSE
Sarah Hall’s Madame Zero is a bold set of stories that speak to the times. Through these perceptive, sharply realized narratives, Hall explores gender roles, female sexuality and the power dynamics inherent in romantic relationships, demonstrating along the way a remarkable ability to shift between voices and forms. A three-page thriller about a deadly epidemic, “One in Four” is a letter written by a drug-industry insider to his wife. “Case Study 2” is just that—an objective, nearly clinical account of a troubled foster child who was brought up in a commune. In “Evie,” the title character’s aggressively erotic actions bewilder her husband and signal the approach of tragedy. Humming with tension and enlivened by Hall’s nimble prose, these of-the-moment stories form a collection that’s destined to endure.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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