Check out the cover for “You Think That’s Bad” on Amazon.com.
Along with the cover art, here’s what we know about the book so far:
Culling the vastness of experience—from its bizarre fringes and breathtaking pinnacles to the mediocre and desperately below average—like an expert curator, Jim Shepard populates this collection with characters at once wildly diverse and wholly fascinating.
A “black world” operative can’t tell his wife a word about his daily activities, but doesn’t resist sharing her confidences. A young Alpine researcher is smitten by the girlfriend of his dead brother, killed in an avalanche he believes he caused. An unlucky farm boy becomes the manservant of a French nobleman who’s as proud of having served with Joan of Arc as he’s aroused by slaughtering children. A free spirit tracks an ancient Shia sect, becoming the first Western woman to travel the Arabian Deserts. From the inventor of the Godzilla epics to a miserable G.I. in New Guinea, each is complicit in his or her downfall and comes to learn that, in love, knowing better is never enough.
These stories traverse centuries, continents, and social strata, yet what they depict with devastating sensitivity—all the heartbreak, alienation, intimacy, and accomplishment—is utterly universal.
About the Author
Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and three previous collections, the most recent of which, Like You’d Understand, Anyway, won the Story Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. “The Netherlands Lives with Water,” from this collection, will appear in Best American Short Stories 2010 (edited by Richard Russo). He lives with his wife and their three children in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
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