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Out There: Book summary and reviews of Out There by Kate Folk

Out There

Stories

by Kate Folk

Out There by Kate Folk X
Out There by Kate Folk
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Book Summary

A thrilling new voice in fiction injects the absurd into the everyday to present a startling vision of modern life, "[as] if Kafka and Camus and Bradbury were penning episodes of Black Mirror" (Chang-Rae Lee, author of My Year Abroad).

With a focus on the weird and eerie forces that lurk beneath the surface of ordinary experience, Kate Folk's debut collection is perfectly pitched to the madness of our current moment. A medical ward for a mysterious bone-melting disorder is the setting of a perilous love triangle. A curtain of void obliterates the globe at a steady pace, forcing Earth's remaining inhabitants to decide with whom they want to spend eternity. A man fleeing personal scandal enters a codependent relationship with a house that requires a particularly demanding level of care. And in the title story, originally published in the New Yorker, a woman in San Francisco uses dating apps to find a partner despite the threat posed by "blots," preternaturally handsome artificial men dispatched by Russian hackers to steal data. Meanwhile, in a poignant companion piece, a woman and a blot forge a genuine, albeit doomed, connection.

Prescient and wildly imaginative, Out There depicts an uncanny landscape that holds a mirror to our subconscious fears and desires. Each story beats with its own fierce heart, and together they herald an exciting new arrival in the tradition of speculative literary fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Folk debuts with a wonderful absurdist collection that explores the vagaries of human connections...The whole perfectly balances compassion and caustics, and the author has an easy hand blending everyday terror with the humor that helps people swallow it. Folk impresses with her imagination as well as her insights." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[S]uperb...A bold, exhilarating display of talent." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Tightly constructed and spectacularly mind-bending [stories] ingeniously pair everyday challenges and outlandish predicaments, ranging from hilarious to terrifying." - Booklist (starred review)

"One could fancy Kate Folk as the literary love child of Kafka and Camus and Bradbury, if Kafka and Camus and Bradbury were penning episodes of Black Mirror, but that still wouldn't capture the blazing originality and exhilarating weirdness of her writing. From the moment you read these tales, you'll know you're in the presence of a singularly brilliant vision." - Chang-Rae Lee, author of My Year Abroad

"An assortment of stories so sharp and ingenious you may cut yourself on them while reading, like a drawer full of the most beautiful knives—Out There goes onto my shelf of favorite collections." - Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

This information about Out There 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

Kate Folk

Kate Folk has written for publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and Zyzzyva. She's received support from the Headlands Center for the Arts, MacDowell, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Recently, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. She lives in San Francisco. Out There is her first book.

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