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Babylon and Other Stories

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In their various locales--from Montreal (where a prosthetic leg casts a furious spell on its beholders) to New Mexico (where a Soviet-era exchange student redefines home for his hosts)--the characters in Babylon are coming to terms with life's epiphanies, for good or ill.

They range from the very young who, confronted with their parents' limitations, discover their own resolve, to those facing middle age and its particular indignities, no less determined to assert themselves and shape their destinies. Babylon and Other Stories showcases the wit, humor, and insight that have made Alix Ohlin one of the most admired young writers working today.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 12, 2006 – Ohlin's debut novel, The Missing Person (2005), featured a believably odd plot and displayed her chops in nailing contemporary idioms. The 17 stories of this collection do the same in miniature, but never quite fuse her characters and their circumstances. The title story refers to the name of the Long Island town where computer programmer Robert, 29, meets medical assistant Astrid; they begin a highly charged, highly compartmentalized relationship within a bubble of work-phone-apartment that may have a more solid foundation on its flaws than on its virtues. The opening "King of Kohlrabi" features a typically precocious teen, Aggie, who must cope with her father's abandoning his family for his law partner, Margaret; the story pivots around her clear voice as events, beginning with a minor car accident, spin out of control. In "I Love to Dance at Weddings," Leda, following the death of her husband of 27 years, marries three times in succession, arousing a tangle of emotions in her son, Nick, and Nick's wife, Nathalie. Ohlin is expert in rendering the haze of alienation that hangs over all her characters' relationships and their various suburban settings. The stories read like hopeless, tightly constructed variations on unhappiness, a Babylon where communication is as impossible as it is pointless.
Babylon and Other Stories
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Jul 25, 2006
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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