Tales of Accidental Genius

Tales of Accidental Genius


Book - 2015
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A master storyteller's vision reawakens us to the human experience in this diverse, haunting, and unexpectedly humorous new collection of short fiction from Simon Van Booy--his first since Love Begins in Winter, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

"She believed it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us. Long before death, we die a thousand times at the hands of a definition."

In his first book of short stories since Love Begins in Winter, for which he won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award), bestselling author Simon Van Booy offers a collection of stories highlighting how human genius can emerge through acts of compassion. Through characters including an eccentric film director, an aging Cockney bodyguard, the teenage child of Nigerian immigrants, a divorced amateur magician from New Jersey, and a Beijing street vendor who becomes an overnight billionaire, Tales of Accidental Genius contemplates individuals from different cultures, races--rich and poor, young and old--and reveals how faith and yearning for connection helps us all transcend darkness of fear and misfortune.

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062408976
Characteristics: 247, 13 pages ; 21 cm


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Oct 03, 2017

These stories are little slices of everyday life that take you in unexpected directions. I was a bit surprised that the second half is written as verse but I really enjoyed it. Van Booy is likened to "Hemingway but with more heart" though he reminds me of O. Henry.

Sep 04, 2016

This collection of short stories (and one novella) is unique in that it is uplifting. Each story makes you happy you read it.

Michael Colford Dec 08, 2015

Simon Van Booy writes beautiful books filled with deep longing and transcendent love. He is also a keen observer of human nature, from different points of view, ages, and backgrounds. His novels are lush and thought-provoking, but his short stories are masterful. Mr. Van Booy follows the great Alice Munro in the examination of human nature.

In his latest collection of stories, Simon travels around the world to provide the rich tapestry that make up his character. England, Nigeria, Beijing and New Jersey are among the backdrops that form these tales. He explores the nature of poverty and invention in 'Golden Helper II: An Epic Fable of Wealth, Loneliness, and Cycling,' and unspools a tender act of human kindness in 'The Goldfish.'

I always look forward to Simon's carefully constructed tales, and TALES OF ACCIDENTAL GENIUS adds another beautiful chapter in his literary body of work.


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