Stay Awake: Book summary and reviews of Stay Awake by Dan Chaon

Stay Awake

Stories

by Dan Chaon

Stay Awake
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2012
    272 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

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Book Summary

Before the critically acclaimed novels Await Your Reply and You Remind Me of Me, Dan Chaon made a name for himself as a renowned writer of dazzling short stories. Now, in Stay Awake, Chaon returns to that form for the first time since his masterly Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award.

In these haunting, suspenseful stories, lost, fragile, searching characters wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection - and find themselves in unexpected, dire, and sometimes unfathomable situations.

A father's life is upended by his son's night terrors - and disturbing memories of the first wife and child he abandoned; a foster child receives a call from the past and begins to remember his birth mother, whose actions were unthinkable; a divorced woman experiences her own dark version of "empty-nest syndrome"; a young widower is unnerved by the sudden, inexplicable appearances of messages and notes - on dollar bills, inside a magazine, stapled to the side of a tree; and a college dropout begins to suspect that there's something off, something sinister, in his late parents' house.

Dan Chaon's stories feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls. They exist in a twilight realm - in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But you are up, unable to sleep. So you stay awake.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With this arresting collection, Chaon again demonstrates his mastery of the short story... Chaon brings readers fantastically close, slowly drawing them into the anxiety or loneliness or remorse of his characters, and building great anticipation for the twists to come." - Publishers Weekly

"Distinctive, hurting, and brave, Chaon's characters suffer life's little jolts but scramble to get back on the path, their journey to self escalating to the tenth power as the prose flows and the pages turn faster." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Dan Chaon Author Biography

Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Full Biography
Link to Dan Chaon's Website

Name Pronunciation
Dan Chaon: Dan 'Shawn'

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