F*ckface: Book summary and reviews of F*ckface by Leah Hampton

F*ckface

And Other Stories

by Leah Hampton

F*ckface by Leah Hampton X
F*ckface by Leah Hampton
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About this book

Book Summary

F*ckface is a brassy, bighearted debut collection of twelve short stories about rurality, corpses, honeybee collapse, and illicit sex in post-coal Appalachia.

The twelve stories in this knockout collection―some comedic, some tragic, many both at once―examine the interdependence between rural denizens and their environment.

A young girl, desperate for a way out of her small town, finds support in an unlikely place. A ranger working along the Blue Ridge Parkway realizes that the dark side of the job, the all too frequent discovery of dead bodies, has taken its toll on her. Haunted by his past, and his future, a tech sergeant reluctantly spends a night with his estranged parents before being deployed to Afghanistan. Nearing fifty and facing new medical problems, a woman wonders if her short stint at the local chemical plant is to blame. A woman takes her husband's research partner on a day trip to her favorite place on earth, Dollywood, and briefly imagines a different life.

In the vein of Bonnie Jo Campbell and Lee Smith, Leah Hampton writes poignantly and honestly about a legendary place that's rapidly changing. She takes us deep inside the lives of the women and men of Appalachia while navigating the realities of modern life with wit, bite, and heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Dazzling...In writing about an often misunderstood region, Hampton could easily have succumbed to the romanticism of Lee Smith or the negative stereotypes of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy, but she avoids these tendencies with cleareyed honesty, humor, and compassion. A marvelous introduction to a fresh Southern voice." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Hampton's penetrating descriptions do a remarkable job of evoking a region where nature is dying off and tourism and mining boom and bust while the locals ponder their existence. These approachable, thought-provoking tales offer a range of insights on the characters's complicated relationships to their environment." - Publishers Weekly

"Gripping...Hampton brings the complex people and sweeping landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains to life...She writes with awe and admiration of the scenery of Kentucky and North Carolina, and with radical empathy for its inhabitants." - Booklist

"Exquisite, poignant, engrossing...any of these terms could be applied to Leah Hampton's remarkable collection, but none would capture the diverse and complex nature of her exceptional work." - New York Journal of Books

"In these stories Leah Hampton is merciful and merciless as life, as heartrending and as funny and as thought-provoking. This book is both up-to-the-minute and instantly classic, a clear-eyed view of America and Americans for the 21st century. – Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway

"Full of wry gallows humor and unexpected tenderness, F*ckface leaves me feeling hopeful about humanity. Hampton's voice is dark, funny, smart, and wise: a perfect companion for the apocalypse." - Amy Bonnaffons, author of The Regrets

"What a visit this book is! A devastating, funny, poignant, unapologetic, astonishing collection. These stories of loss and landscape, hope, meat and Dolly Parton are an extraordinary hymn to Appalachia and announce a bold, brilliant, beautiful new voice. What an outstanding debut." - Edward Carey, author of Little

"Leah Hampton writes with an unflinching honesty that brings to mind the stories of Dorothy Alison, but Hampton's subjects and voices are her own. No matter their circumstances or faults, she never condescends to her characters but always allows them their full humanity. F*ckfac­e is an outstanding debut, one that should gain her a wide and appreciative readership." - Ron Rash, author of Serena

"Extraordinary and heart-wrenching. These stories ache with the unspoken truths about what it means to be a woman in this world; they are a testament to everything our bodies carry. Through characters who stay with you long after reading, Leah Hampton will demolish your expectations about modern Appalachia, make you laugh, then break your heart. A truly remarkable debut." – Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept

"Hampton writes about Appalachia with such sharpness, such clear-eyed compassion. These stories are deceptively simple―a firefighter's marriage dissolves, a woman meets an old classmate, a beloved coworker quits―until they are not. These stories take you apart slowly, piece by piece, and by the time you realise what's happening, it's already too late. The stories are in your blood now. They live in you, with all their strangeness and decay, isolation and comfort, hellscapes and moments of grace." – Rachel Heng, author of Suicide Club

"In a voice firmly grounded and unwavering, Leah Hampton writes with an honesty and authority seldom realized so early in a career. These stories are fully matured, raising big questions, providing no easy answers, and leaving us to linger for more. Hampton has staked her claim as a writer to watch and I for one will not turn away." – David Joy, author of The Line That Held Us

"Leah Hampton is a master at rendering people and places in all their vital complexity. In these stories, environmental devastation and natural wonder, familial disintegration and the most tender intimacies, exist all together. Hampton writes with bold, photorealistic precision; these stories are life on the page, with sentences so true they will stop you in your tracks. An indelible debut." - Alexis Schaitkin, author of Saint X

This information about F*ckface 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

Leah Hampton

Leah Hampton is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and the winner of the University of Texas's Keene Prize for Literature, as well as North Carolina's James Hurst and Doris Betts prizes. Her work has appeared in storySouth, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Appalachian Heritage, North Carolina Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times, Ecotone, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. A former college instructor, Hampton lives in and writes about the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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