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The Unfinished World: Book summary and reviews of The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks

The Unfinished World

And Other Stories

by Amber Sparks

The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks X
The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks
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  • Published Jan 2016
    240 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

A highly anticipated collection of wildly imaginative short stories from "one of contemporary fiction's true mad scientists." (Necessary Fiction).

In the weird and wonderful tradition of Kelly Link and Karen Russell, Amber Sparks's dazzling new collection bursts forth with stories that render the apocalyptic and otherworldly hauntingly familiar. In "The Cemetery for Lost Faces," two orphans translate their grief into taxidermy, artfully arresting the passage of time. The anchoring novella, "The Unfinished World," unfurls a surprising love story between a free and adventurous young woman and a dashing filmmaker burdened by a mysterious family. Sparks's stories - populated with sculptors, librarians, astronauts, and warriors - form a veritable cabinet of curiosities. Mythical, bizarre, and deeply moving, The Unfinished World and Other Stories heralds the arrival of a major writer and illuminates the search for a brief encounter with the extraordinary.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In present-day, historical, and fantasy settings, the author is assured; her spare but colorful prose takes the reader on journeys of longing and mystery, often into uncharted territory, all the while capturing setting and character in a few words… [T]he breadth of her imagination never ceases to amaze." - Publishers Weekly

"The strength of the collection is Sparks' lush, lyrical writing, saturating the dark, death-filled stories with beauty…. Stylish and deeply imagined." - Kirkus

"Sparks' narratives are boldly surreal yet anchored by everyday worries." - Booklist

"In The Unfinished World and Other Stories, Amber Sparks is a master of the fantastic. Here are stories about fever librarians and brothers who are swans, time travelers and space janitors. With each story, Sparks defies the known world in absolutely thrilling ways." - Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

"Amber Sparks is one of my favorite writers working today. Her stories are brutal beauties, guaranteed to explode your brain and steal your heart, and The Unfinished World and Other Stories is vintage Sparks: endlessly inventive, thrillingly imaginative, utterly assured." - Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

"Reading The Unfinished World and Other Stories is like being given the keys to the mysterious back rooms of a great museum: everywhere you look there is another wonder, strange and surprising and fashioned with admirable skill." - Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

"The stories of The Unfinished World are exciting in their invention and sharp in their insights - the collection a thrilling riff on history and pop culture, fairy tale and fantasy. Amber Sparks is as perversely entertaining as Margaret Atwood, her writing as lush as Angela Carter's." - Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola

"Sparks exhibits a genuine understanding of humanity while expertly rendering the longings of her varied population - from Lancelot to time travelers to the prettiest cashier at Safeway." - Marie-Helene Bertino, author of 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas

This information about The Unfinished World was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks is the author of a previous collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, and her fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Collagist, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington, DC.

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