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David Means - Author

About the Author

David Means' second collection of stories, Assorted Fire Events, earned the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction and a National Book Critics Circle nomination. His third book, The Secret Goldfish, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize. His fourth book, The Spot, was selected as a 2010 Notable Book by The New York Times, and won an O. Henry Prize. His books have been translated into eight languages, and his fiction has appeared The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, Zoetrope, The Best American Short Stories,The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous other publications. He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.

Featured books by David Means

Hystopia

Hystopia

Author: David Means Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/05/2016

At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation's mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas enfolded - wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy - while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians. This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. In Hystopia, Means brings his full talent to bear on the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome. The answers it offers are wildly inventive, deeply rooted in its characters, and wrung from the author's own heart.

Other books by David Means

Instructions for a Funeral

Instructions for a Funeral

Author: David Means Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/03/2019

'One of the most talented writers of short fiction in America. . .' James Wood, New Yorker Following the publication of his widely acclaimed, Man Booker-nominated novel Hystopia, David Means returns to his signature form: the short story. Instructions for a Funeral finds a universally admired practitioner in newly expansive territory. Means writes with compassionate precision about fatherhood, marriage, a homeless brother, the nature of addiction, and the death of a friend at the hands of a serial killer nurse. He transmutes a fistfight in Sacramento into a tender, life-long love story; two FBI agents on a stakeout in the 1920s into a tale of predator and prey; a man's funeral instructions into a chronicle of organized crime, real estate ventures, and the destructive force of paranoia. Means's work has earned him comparisons to Flannery O'Connor, Alice Munro, Sherwood Anderson, Denis Johnson, Edgar Allan Poe, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver but his place in the American literary landscape is fully and originally his own. 'David Means is that lucky (and brilliant) writer: a man in full possession of a vision.' - Richard Ford

A River in Egypt Faber Stories

A River in Egypt Faber Stories

Author: David Means Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

In his masterful story 'A River in Egypt', David Means paints a portrait of a moment. Cavanaugh and his young son are suspended; trapped in what a nurse calls 'the sweat chamber', where the boy will be tested for cystic fibrosis. Cavanaugh has brought distractions - spasmodic action figures, malformed toy trucks - but they do little to alter the frustration of the sick child screaming, or to alleviate the anxiety of the time spent waiting for 'some exactitude in the form of a diagnosis'.

Hystopia

Hystopia

Author: David Means Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2017

At the bitter end of the 1960s, upon his return home from combat in the Vietnam War, twenty-two-year old Eugene Allen writes a novel called HYSTOPIA. It is set in a strangely destabilized historical moment, where President Kennedy is entering his third term in office, and a new federal agency maintains the mental health of returning soldiers by wiping their memories through drugs and therapy, while those beyond help roam at will, re-enacting the atrocities they have witnessed. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia is a wild, gonzo experience about the nature of trauma, homecoming, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

Hystopia

Hystopia

Author: David Means Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/05/2016

At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation's mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas enfolded - wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy - while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians. This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. In Hystopia, Means brings his full talent to bear on the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome. The answers it offers are wildly inventive, deeply rooted in its characters, and wrung from the author's own heart.

The Spot

The Spot

Author: David Means Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/11/2010

THE SPOT is an old blacksmith shed in which a gang of men tweeze apart the intricacies of a botched bank robbery. THE SPOT is a place deep in Riverside Park, along the Hudson River, where two lovers walk with a keen sense that their adultery is about to come to an end. THE SPOT is at the bottom of Niagara Falls, where the body of a young girl floats as if caught in the tangled currents of her own tragic story. THE SPOT is a place in a young father's mind where love, fear and responsibility merge in the struggle with his son's potentially devastating diagnosis. THE SPOT lies in the eardrum of a madman plagued by a noisy upstairs neighbour on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This highly anticipated collection by internationally acclaimed short story master David Means is exceptional not only in it's language but also in the diversity of the narratives, as he searches out with delicate precision the intricate relationship between immortality and grace.

Assorted Fire Events Stories

Assorted Fire Events Stories

Author: David Means Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2003

The paperback of the critically acclaimed story collection from David Means. `One of the best American collections of the last ten years...This is food for the hungry.' Jonathan Franzen `His writing blazes with originality and self-assuredness...A striking new voice in American fiction.' Dominic Bradbury, The Times `Worlds collide and spring apart...this sort of thing happens all the time in life, yet I don't think I've ever seen anyone bother to express it so devastatingly in literature.' Julie Myerson, Guardian `There are stories in this collection that expose the pain of growing up, or the lies within marriage, as well as anything written by anyone, anywhere...The finest collection of stories to appear in years.' John Burnside, Scotsman `Means presents the perfect detail at the perfect time. He has a tender, but revealing grasp of human frailty and - that rare thing - a gift for finding and conveying dignity to his characters.' A.L. Kennedy `An unsettling, fiercly felt debut collection. His prose can sometimes give you lives in single sentences. In its rigour and controlled sense of experiment, it is reminiscent of some of the best of the more singular American short story writers of the last few decades.' Tim Adams, Observer `We care for the characters as if we have known and loved and detested them forever...An exceptional book.' Michel Faber, Scotland on Sunday

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