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Daddy
Stories
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls comes an eagerly anticipated story collection exploring the dark corners of human experience. "Daddy's ten masterful, provocative stories confirm...
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls comes an eagerly anticipated story collection exploring the dark corners of human experience. "Daddy's ten masterful, provocative stories confirm...
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Description-

  • From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls comes an eagerly anticipated story collection exploring the dark corners of human experience.

    "Daddy's ten masterful, provocative stories confirm that Cline is a staggering talent."—Esquire

    "Brilliant . . . Cline is an astonishingly gifted stylist. . . . These stories vibrate with life."—The New York Times Book Review
    An absentee father collects his son from boarding school after a shocking act of violence. A nanny to a celebrity family hides out in Laurel Canyon in the aftermath of a tabloid scandal. A young woman sells her underwear to strangers. A notorious guest arrives at a placid, not-quite rehab in the Southwest.
    In ten remarkable stories, Emma Cline portrays moments when the ordinary is disturbed, when daily life buckles, revealing the perversity and violence pulsing under the surface. She explores characters navigating the edge, the limits of themselves and those around them: power dynamics in families, in relationships, the distance between their true and false selves. They want connection, but what they provoke is often closer to self-sabotage. What are the costs of one's choices? Of the moments when we act, or fail to act? These complexities are at the heart of Daddy, Emma Cline's sharp-eyed illumination of the contrary impulses that animate our inner lives.

Excerpts-

  • From the book What Can You Do with a General

    Linda was inside, on her phone—­to who, this early? From the hot tub, John watched her pace in her robe and an old swimsuit in a faded tropical print that probably belonged to one of the girls. It was nice to drift a little in the water, to glide to the other side of the tub, holding his coffee above the waterline, the jets churning away. The fig tree was bare, had been for a month now, but the persimmon trees were full. The kids should bake cookies when they get here, he thought, persimmon cookies. Wasn't that what Linda used to make, when the kids were little? Or what else—­jam, maybe? All this fruit going to waste, it was disgusting. He'd get the yard guy to pick a few crates of persimmons before the kids came, so that all they'd have to do was bake them. Linda would know where to find the recipe.

    The screen door banged. Linda folded her robe, climbed into the hot tub.

    "Sasha's flight's delayed."

    "Till?"

    "Probably won't land until four or five."

    Holiday traffic would be a nightmare then, coming back from the airport—­an hour there, then two hours back, if not more. Sasha didn't have her license, couldn't rent a car, not that she would think to offer.

    "And she said Andrew's not coming," Linda said, making a face. Linda was convinced that Sasha's boyfriend was married, though she'd never brought it up with Sasha.

    Linda fished a leaf out of the water and flicked it into the yard, then settled in with the book she'd brought. Linda read a lot: She read books about angels and saints and rich white women from the past with eccentric habits. She read books by the mothers of school shooters and books by healers who said that cancer was really a self-­love problem. Now it was a memoir by a girl who'd been kidnapped at the age of eleven. Held in a backyard shed for almost ten years.

    "Her teeth were in good shape," Linda said. "Considering. She says she scraped her teeth every night with her fingernails. Then he finally gave her a toothbrush."

    "Jesus," John said, what seemed like the right response, but Linda was already back to her book, bobbing peacefully. When the jets turned off, John waded over in silence to turn them on again.

    Sam was the first of the kids to arrive, driving up from Milpitas in the certified pre-­owned sedan he had purchased the summer before. He had called multiple times before buying the car to weigh the pros and cons—­the mileage on this used model versus leasing a newer one and how soon Audis needed servicing—­and it amazed John that Linda had time for this, their thirty-­year-­old son's car frettings, but she always took his calls, going into the other room and leaving John wherever he was, alone with whatever he was doing. Lately John had started watching a television show about two older women living together, one uptight, the other a free spirit. The good thing was that there seemed to be an infinite number of episodes, an endless accounting of their mild travails in an unnamed beach town. Time didn't seem to apply to these women, as if they were already dead, though he supposed the show was meant to take place in Santa Barbara.

    Chloe arrived next, down from Sacramento, and she had driven, she said, at least half an hour with the gas light on. Maybe longer. She was doing an internship. Unpaid, naturally. They still covered her rent; she was the youngest.

    "Where'd you fill up?"

    "I didn't yet," she said. "I'll do it later."

    "You should've stopped," John said. "It's dangerous to drive on empty. And your front tire is almost flat," he went on, but Chloe...

About the Author-

  • Emma Cline is the author of The Girls, which was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize and the John Leonard Award from the National Book Critics Circle. She received the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review and was chosen as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. She is from Northern California.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 6, 2020
    Cline follows up her bestselling The Girls with a probing, low-key collection that speaks to the raw nerves of everyday people as they struggle against pressures both personal and perennial. Families torn apart by secrecy and regret feature in “What Can You Do with a General,” in which a family’s Christmas Eve is darkened by the prospect of euthanizing their dog, and “Northeast Regional,” where a father facing his missteps in life is summoned to the boarding school where his son was expelled after a violent incident. A woman caring for a child of celebrities becomes thrust into a scandal in “The Nanny,” and retreats to a family friend’s house in the canyons north of Los Angeles. Two adolescent girls undertake a disastrous attempt to get the attention of a near-stranger in “Marion.” Cline’s ability to peer into the darker corners of her characters’ lives and discern desolation is also on display in “A/S/L,” which follows a young girl in and out of rehab, while a son living in his film producer father’s shadow debuts his terrible movie in “Son of Friedman.” The subtlety of these 10 stories may surprise readers expecting the same luridness Cline brought to The Girls, but the payoffs are as gratifying as they are shattering. Agent: Bill Clegg, the Clegg Agency.

  • Booklist

    July 1, 2020
    Cline follows The Girls (2016) with a nuanced story collection portraying a variety of characters navigating uneasy transitions in their lives. In What Can You Do With a General, John and Linda await the return of their young adult children prior to Christmas; while John reflects on the stagnancy of his existence as well as his self-prescribed altruism, gritty familial perspectives are revealed. The Nanny follows the titular Kayla amidst the fallout from the revelation that she had an affair with her charge's celebrity father; as Kayla hides from the media frenzy with her mother's college roommate, she is forced to confront her complicated realities. Cline explores her characters' tricky connections, new and old, to those around them. In Los Angeles, as transplant Alice struggles to find her footing, her relationship with a young co-worker leads her to an unexpected side job. In the punchy A/S/L, Thora's turn in rehab becomes heightened after the arrival of a well-known guest. Cline's 10 stories constitute a riveting, timely tapestry of realizations, motivations, and desires.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2020
    Tales of coastal malaise from the author of The Girls (2016). Several of the stories in this collection are about the failures and disappointments of older men. In "What Can You Do With a General," a father tries to understand his adult children when they come home for Christmas. In "Son of Friedman," a washed-up writer who has left California for New York endures the premier of his son's terrible film and makes an awkward attempt to interest a more successful friend in a new screenplay. Cline's voice is understated; her pace is slow and steady. The reader arrives at the central conflict of the story obliquely--or, in some cases, not at all. The details of the misdeeds at the heart of "Menlo Park" and "Northeast Regional" are never revealed. There's a sameness to these stories, and a few read as if the moments in time they depict were chosen at random. The selections that have young female protagonists are more engaging. The main character in "Los Angeles" endures the atmosphere of sexual harassment that's just part of the job for women in service industries; her attempt to reclaim some agency has its own risks. Twenty-four-year-old Kayla is hiding out from the paparazzi in "The Nanny." She has no remorse for her sexual dalliance with the famous-actor father of the child in her care. Her feelings about the affair are primarily shaped by how the scandal is playing out on social media. "She came across a new photo--she looked only okay. A certain pair of jeans she loved was not, she saw, as flattering as she'd imagined it to be. She saved the photo to her phone so she could zoom in on it later." The old men in the other stories gathered here would no doubt find this reaction cynical and self-absorbed--an example of the superficiality inherent in growing up online. Kayla's peers, however, might note that these old men grew up shaped by the privilege of thinking that the world owed them something. Well-crafted depictions of people at crisis points in their lives. Some crises depicted are more compelling than others.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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