Released on 08 September 2016.

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The Fat Artist and Other Stories

3.65 based on 76 ratings & 20 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Long-listed

International Dylan Thomas Prize

Synopsis

Benjamin Hale's fiction abounds with a love of language and a wild joy for storytelling. In prose alternately stark, lush, and hallucinatory, occasionally nightmarish and often absurd, the seven stories in this collection are suffused with fear and desire, introducing us to a company of indelible characters reeling with love, jealousy, megalomania, and despair.

As in his acclaimed debut novel, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, the voices in these stories speak from the margins: a dominatrix whose longtime client, a U.S. congressman, drops dead during a tryst in a hotel room; an addict in precarious recovery who lands a job driving a truck full of live squid; a heartbroken performance artist who attempts to eat himself to death as a work of art. From underground radicals hiding in Morocco to an aging hippie in Colorado in the summer before 9/11 to a young drag queen in New York at the cusp of the AIDS crisis, these stories rove freely across time and place, carried by haunting, peculiar narratives, threads in the vast tapestry of American life.

Weaving a pleasure in the absurd with an exploration of the extraordinary variety of the human condition and the sway our most private selves and hidden pasts hold over us, the stories in The Fat Artist reside in the unnerving intersections between life and death, art and ridicule, consumption and creation.

In the media

Hale reveals himself to be a virtuoso . . . [His] prose is so enjoyable.
Times Literary Supplement
Fascinating tales that cover a huge range of characters, who will linger in your mind long after you’ve put down the book.
The Scotsman
Fascinating tales that cover a huge range of characters, who will linger in your mind long after you've put down the book.
Press Association