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9789390742158 60ec3f5d9ca12b1dc848feb4 Things Are Against Us https://cdn1.storehippo.com/s/607fe93d7eafcac1f2c73ea4/60ec3f5e9ca12b1dc848fee6/webp/41cxn569izs-_sx329_bo1-204-203-200_.jpg

From the Booker-shortlisted author of DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT

'Ellmann has long delighted in provocation' ―New Yorker

‘A writer so intelligent and angry’ ―Financial Times

Things Are Against Us is the first collection of essays from Booker Prize-shortlisted author Lucy Ellmann. It is everything you might expect from such a fiery writer – which is to say, entirely unexpected. Bold, angry, despairing, and very, very funny, the essays cover everything from matriarchy to environmental catastrophe to Little House on the Prairie. Ellmann calls for a moratorium on air travel – ‘You’d think a global pandemic would be an opportunity to reconsider the whole crazy business.’ She rails against bras – ‘Men have managed to eroticise bras, but THEY DON’T HAVE TO WEAR THEM.’ She gives Agatha Christie a drubbing – ‘atrocious, but ideal for people with colds’. And pleads for sanity in a world that . . . well, a world that has spent four years in the company of Trump – ‘That big, fat loser of a president, that nasty, sick, terrible, lowly, truly pathetic, reckless, sad, weak, lazy, incompetent, third-rate, clueless, not smart, dumb as a rock, all talk, wacko, goofball and all-round low-life . . .’

Things Are Against Us is electric. It’s vital. These are essays bursting with energy, and reading them feels like sticking your hand in the mains socket. Lucy Ellmann is the writer we need to guide us through these crazy times.

Review

Praise for Ducks, Newburyport

"This book has its face pressed up against the pane of the present; its form mimics the way our minds move now toggling between tabs, between the needs of small children and aging parents, between news of ecological collapse and school shootings while somehow remembering to pay taxes and fold the laundry."―Parul Sehgal, New York Times

“Ellmann captures the pathos of the everyday, how one might use pie crusts and film synopses to dam in pain ... [her] commitment to compilation and description suggests a resistance to hierarchies. It also flickers with tenderness. The time and care that she lavishes on her narrator seem like their own form of political speculation―that every individual is owed an unending devotion, and that such devotion, applied universally, might change the fate of the world."New Yorker

"A sublime literary enactment of how guilt, grief, rage, regret, compassion, and every other emotion swirls and ebbs in unbalanced defiance of rational logic ... The free-associative stream accumulates into a work of great formal beauty, whose distinctive linguistic rhythms and patterns envelop the reader like music or poetry. Equally, it forms a damning indictment on capitalist patriarchy that, in an extraordinary feat from a writer at the height of her powers, never veers within a mile of sanctimony or self-righteousness. If art is measured by how skillfully it holds a mirror up to society, then Ellmann has surely written the most important novel of this era."―The Paris Review

"In Ducks, Newburyport the invisible expropriation of women’s domestic labour is tied to the despoiling of the environment and the macho degradation of the public sphere. But this is to suggest the novel can be boiled down to one particular theme, when its entire premise refuses any kind of summary. In reading Ducks, wonder gives way to frustration, which gives way to wonder again, until finishing becomes a kind of contemplative vigil – an exercise in dedication...Ducks is asking us to imagine what a total, unboundaried empathy with another person could feel like."―New Statesman

“Breathlessly brilliant … an extraordinary achievement of wit and imagination … this isn’t just one of the outstanding books of 2019, it’s one of the outstanding books of the century.”―Irish Times

Praise for Lucy Ellmann

“When I first read Ellmann, I loved her bizarreness, her ferocious humour. But she’s even angrier now, more indignant, and that’s what gives this book its sly substance. The streak of fury that runs through it is stealthy, apparently feminine, cloaked in ditziness. But underneath there are claws and teeth."―Julie Myerson, Guardian

“[I]t’s somehow hard not to be optimistic in the hands of a writer so angry and intelligent.”―Patrick Ness, Guardian

“I have been told that reviewers complained about the use of screaming capitals in Lucy Ellmann’s first book, which is why she now packs every page with them . . . Her latest novel, a melded spoof of medical romances and Jane Eyre, is as lunatic and splenetic and distinctive as anything that will be published this year . . . I begin to suspect she may be some sort of genius."―Victoria Lane, Telegraph

“Ellmann’s writing is fearless . . . a whistle-stop tour of the paraphernalia that litters all our minds. Oddments that most of us notice and discard are here burnished into literary devices.”―Alice Fishburn, Financial Times

“If there were a laureate for anger, it should go to Lucy Ellmann.”―Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Lucy Ellmann’s first novel, Sweet Desserts, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It was followed by Varying Degrees of Hopelessness, Man or Mango? A Lament, Dot in the Universe, Doctors & Nurses, Mimi. Her short stories have appeared in magazines, newspapers and anthologies, and she has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Times Literary Supplement, Telegraph, New Statesman and Society, Spectator, Herald, Scottish Review of Books, Time Out (London), Art Monthly, Thirsty Books, Bookforum, Aeon, The Evergreen, and The Baffler. A screenplay, The Spy Who Caught a Cold, was filmed and broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. She edits fiction for the Fiction Atelier (fictionatelier.wordpress.com), and abhors standard ways of teaching Creative Writing, which she considers mostly criminal. Though American by birth, she lives in Scotland.

9789390742158
in stockINR 499
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Things Are Against Us

Things Are Against Us

ISBN: 9789390742158
₹499


Available At: Hauz Khas
Details
  • ISBN: 9789390742158
  • Author: Lucy Ellmann
  • Publisher: Picador India
  • Pages: 207
  • Format: Paperback

Book Description

From the Booker-shortlisted author of DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT

'Ellmann has long delighted in provocation' ―New Yorker

‘A writer so intelligent and angry’ ―Financial Times

Things Are Against Us is the first collection of essays from Booker Prize-shortlisted author Lucy Ellmann. It is everything you might expect from such a fiery writer – which is to say, entirely unexpected. Bold, angry, despairing, and very, very funny, the essays cover everything from matriarchy to environmental catastrophe to Little House on the Prairie. Ellmann calls for a moratorium on air travel – ‘You’d think a global pandemic would be an opportunity to reconsider the whole crazy business.’ She rails against bras – ‘Men have managed to eroticise bras, but THEY DON’T HAVE TO WEAR THEM.’ She gives Agatha Christie a drubbing – ‘atrocious, but ideal for people with colds’. And pleads for sanity in a world that . . . well, a world that has spent four years in the company of Trump – ‘That big, fat loser of a president, that nasty, sick, terrible, lowly, truly pathetic, reckless, sad, weak, lazy, incompetent, third-rate, clueless, not smart, dumb as a rock, all talk, wacko, goofball and all-round low-life . . .’

Things Are Against Us is electric. It’s vital. These are essays bursting with energy, and reading them feels like sticking your hand in the mains socket. Lucy Ellmann is the writer we need to guide us through these crazy times.

Review

Praise for Ducks, Newburyport

"This book has its face pressed up against the pane of the present; its form mimics the way our minds move now toggling between tabs, between the needs of small children and aging parents, between news of ecological collapse and school shootings while somehow remembering to pay taxes and fold the laundry."―Parul Sehgal, New York Times

“Ellmann captures the pathos of the everyday, how one might use pie crusts and film synopses to dam in pain ... [her] commitment to compilation and description suggests a resistance to hierarchies. It also flickers with tenderness. The time and care that she lavishes on her narrator seem like their own form of political speculation―that every individual is owed an unending devotion, and that such devotion, applied universally, might change the fate of the world."New Yorker

"A sublime literary enactment of how guilt, grief, rage, regret, compassion, and every other emotion swirls and ebbs in unbalanced defiance of rational logic ... The free-associative stream accumulates into a work of great formal beauty, whose distinctive linguistic rhythms and patterns envelop the reader like music or poetry. Equally, it forms a damning indictment on capitalist patriarchy that, in an extraordinary feat from a writer at the height of her powers, never veers within a mile of sanctimony or self-righteousness. If art is measured by how skillfully it holds a mirror up to society, then Ellmann has surely written the most important novel of this era."―The Paris Review

"In Ducks, Newburyport the invisible expropriation of women’s domestic labour is tied to the despoiling of the environment and the macho degradation of the public sphere. But this is to suggest the novel can be boiled down to one particular theme, when its entire premise refuses any kind of summary. In reading Ducks, wonder gives way to frustration, which gives way to wonder again, until finishing becomes a kind of contemplative vigil – an exercise in dedication...Ducks is asking us to imagine what a total, unboundaried empathy with another person could feel like."―New Statesman

“Breathlessly brilliant … an extraordinary achievement of wit and imagination … this isn’t just one of the outstanding books of 2019, it’s one of the outstanding books of the century.”―Irish Times

Praise for Lucy Ellmann

“When I first read Ellmann, I loved her bizarreness, her ferocious humour. But she’s even angrier now, more indignant, and that’s what gives this book its sly substance. The streak of fury that runs through it is stealthy, apparently feminine, cloaked in ditziness. But underneath there are claws and teeth."―Julie Myerson, Guardian

“[I]t’s somehow hard not to be optimistic in the hands of a writer so angry and intelligent.”―Patrick Ness, Guardian

“I have been told that reviewers complained about the use of screaming capitals in Lucy Ellmann’s first book, which is why she now packs every page with them . . . Her latest novel, a melded spoof of medical romances and Jane Eyre, is as lunatic and splenetic and distinctive as anything that will be published this year . . . I begin to suspect she may be some sort of genius."―Victoria Lane, Telegraph

“Ellmann’s writing is fearless . . . a whistle-stop tour of the paraphernalia that litters all our minds. Oddments that most of us notice and discard are here burnished into literary devices.”―Alice Fishburn, Financial Times

“If there were a laureate for anger, it should go to Lucy Ellmann.”―Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Lucy Ellmann’s first novel, Sweet Desserts, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It was followed by Varying Degrees of Hopelessness, Man or Mango? A Lament, Dot in the Universe, Doctors & Nurses, Mimi. Her short stories have appeared in magazines, newspapers and anthologies, and she has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Times Literary Supplement, Telegraph, New Statesman and Society, Spectator, Herald, Scottish Review of Books, Time Out (London), Art Monthly, Thirsty Books, Bookforum, Aeon, The Evergreen, and The Baffler. A screenplay, The Spy Who Caught a Cold, was filmed and broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. She edits fiction for the Fiction Atelier (fictionatelier.wordpress.com), and abhors standard ways of teaching Creative Writing, which she considers mostly criminal. Though American by birth, she lives in Scotland.

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