All the Names They Used for God Summary and Reviews

All the Names They Used for God

Stories

by Anjali Sachdeva

All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva X
All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    272 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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About this book

Book Summary

For fans of Dave Eggers and Kelly Link, an exhilarating collection of stories that explores the mysterious, often dangerous forces that shape our lives - from censorship and terrorism to technology and online dating.

Spanning centuries, continents, and a diverse set of characters, these alluringly strange stories are united by each character's struggle with fate. In a secret, subterranean world beneath the prairie of the Old West, a homesteader risks her life in search of a safe haven. A workman in Andrew Carnegie's steel mills is turned into a medical oddity by the brutal power of the furnaces—and is eventually revitalized by his condition. A young woman created through genetic manipulation is destroyed by the same force that gave her life.

Anjali Sachdeva demonstrates a preternatural ability to laser in on our fears, our hopes, and our longings in order to point out intrinsic truths about society and humanity. "Killer of Kings" starts with John Milton writing Paradise Lost and questions the very nature of power - and the ability to see any hero as a tyrant with just a change in perspective. The title story presents a stirring imagining of the aftermath of the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram that leaves us pondering what is lost when we survive the unsurvivable. And in "Pleiades," genetically modified septuplets are struck by a mysterious illness that tests their parents' unwavering belief in the power of science.

Like many of us, the characters in this collection are in pursuit of the sublime, and find themselves looking not just to divinity but to science, nature, psychology, and industry, forgetting that their new, logical deities are no more trustworthy than the tempestuous gods of the past. Along the way, they walk the knife-edge between wonder and terror, salvation and destruction. All the Names They Used for God is an entrancing work of speculative fiction that heralds Anjali Sachdeva as an invigorating, incomparable new voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. They are enormous stories, not in length but in ambition, each an entirely new, unsparing world. Beautiful, draining - and entirely unforgettable." - Kirkus

"The nine stories in Sachdeva's intriguing debut collection raise challenging questions about human responses to short-circuited desires." - Publishers Weekly

"Sachdeva's striking story collection, her first book, explores everyday conflicts in highly imaginative ways. In shifting place and time, characters are confounded by the tidal pull of love and loss as well as the disruptive forces of change." - Booklist

"Every once in a while you read a book with such power, craft, and originality that you know instantly that a new and important voice has arrived on the scene. This is that book." - Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and The Jane Austen Book Club

"Anjali Sachdeva is a sorcerer, and these stories are magic. They are so skillfully told, and so absorbing, that they pass as swiftly as a song, yet they linger in the memory like a novel. I read them with total immersion and delight, and not a little envy." - Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination

"With this book Anjali Sachdeva moves literature forward a notch, and moves the short story form a full revolution. Yes, it's that good - fresh, original, and moving. The prose is gorgeous and the characters still linger with me. I love this book." - Chris Offutt, author of My Father, the Pornographer and Kentucky Straight: Stories

The information about All the Names They Used for God shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Anjali Sachdeva is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has taught writing at the University of Iowa, Augustana College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. She also worked for six years at the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, where she was director of educational programs. Her fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, The Yale Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Sachdeva has hiked through the backcountry of Canada, Iceland, Kenya, Mexico, and the United States, and spent much of her childhood reading fantasy novels and waiting to be whisked away to an alternate universe. Instead, she lives in Pittsburgh, which is pretty wonderful as far as places in this universe go. This is her first book.

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