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Bobcat and Other Stories: Book summary and reviews of Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee

Bobcat and Other Stories

by Rebecca Lee

Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee X
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
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Book Summary

At turns witty, heartbreaking, and fiercely intelligent, Bobcat and Other Stories establishes Rebecca Lee as one of our most gifted and original short story writers.

Using a range of landscapes and countries, Lee creates full worlds, so that each story reads like a short novel. A student plagiarizes a paper and holds fast to her alibi, finding herself complicit in the resurrection of one professor's shadowy past. A dinner party becomes the occasion for the dissolution of more than one marriage. A woman is hired to find a marriage match for the one true soulmate she's ever found.

In all, Rebecca Lee traverses the terrain of infidelity, obligation, sacrifice, jealousy, and finally, optimism. She creates characters so wonderfully flawed, so driven by their desire, so compelled to make sense of their human condition, that it's impossible not to feel for them when their fragile beliefs of romantic love, domestic bliss, or academic seclusion fail to provide them with the sort of force field they'd hoped for.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This fresh, provocative collection, peerless in its vehement elucidation of contemporary foibles, is not to be missed." - Publishers Weekly

"The power in these stories often lies in the puzzlement, for readers as well as characters." - Kirkus

"[An] arresting and distinctive short story collection ... Lee's gorgeously crafted, scintillating stories are imaginative and incisive, funny and profound." - Booklist

This information about Bobcat and Other Stories 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.

Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

masterpiece
Bobcat and Other Stories is a collection of seven short stories by Canadian-born author and professor of creative writing, Rebecca Lee. In this masterpiece of contemporary fiction, Lee gives the reader a wide range of topics, settings and characters: there is enough variety to please almost every reading taste. The first story, Bobcat gathers together at a Manhattan dinner party, publishers, writers, lawyers and the victim of a bobcat attack; in it, marital infidelity, pregnancy, Salman Rushdie and cannibalism all feature. In The Banks of the Vistula, a plagiarising student finds her actions have unexpected and undesired consequences; it touches on Communism, linguistic freedom and propaganda. Slatland is a beautiful story on getting perspective and explores the expectation of happiness in life. In Min, a woman finds herself earnestly performing the task of vetting prospective brides for a good friend. World Party and Fialta both examine the influence of respected elders on the younger generation, but in vastly different ways. Settlers manages to include marriage, miscarriage, Amazons and Clinton. Lee’s characters, even in these short stories have depth and charm; her plots are original with interesting twists; her prose is often beautifully descriptive: “…I heard about a thousand birds cry, and I craned my neck to see them lighting out from the tips of the elms. They looked like ideas would if released suddenly from the page and given bodies – shocked at how blood actually felt as it ran through the veins, as it sent them wheeling into the west, wings raking, straining against the requirements of such a physical world.” and occasionally breath-taking: “She wasn’t completely drunk but calculated that she would be in about forty-five minutes. Her body was like a tract of nature that she understood perfectly – a constellation whose movement across the night sky she could predict, or a gathering storm, or maybe, more accurately, a sparkling stream of elements into which she introduced alcohol with such careful calibration that her blood flowed exactly as she desired, uphill and down, intersecting precisely, chemically, with time and fertility.” This taste of Lee’s work will stimulate readers to seek out more works by this fine author.

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Author Information

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee is professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the author of The City Is a Rising Tide. Her fiction has been read on NPR's Selected Shorts, and her stories have been published in the Atlantic Monthly and Zoetrope. "Fialto," which appears in this collection, was the winner of the National Magazine Award for fiction.

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