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Verge: Stories
by Lidia Yuknavitch

Published: 2021-02-02T00:0
Paperback : 208 pages
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“Children harvest organs, janitors build magical worlds, and mourning lovers drive to destinations unknown in this searing, precise collection of short stories.” —Vogue

"Spellbinding." —O: The Oprah Magazine

“Bracing [and] profound.” —Entertainment Weekly

A fiercely ...

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Introduction

“Children harvest organs, janitors build magical worlds, and mourning lovers drive to destinations unknown in this searing, precise collection of short stories.” —Vogue

"Spellbinding." —O: The Oprah Magazine

“Bracing [and] profound.” —Entertainment Weekly

A fiercely empathetic group portrait of the marginalized and outcast in moments of crisis, from one of the most galvanizing voices in American fiction.

Lidia Yuknavitch is a writer of rare insight into the jagged boundaries between pain and survival. Her characters are scarred by the unchecked hungers of others and themselves, yet determined to find salvation within lives that can feel beyond their control. In novels such as The Small Backs of Children and The Book of Joan, she has captivated readers with stories of visceral power. Now, in Verge, she offers a shard-sharp mosaic portrait of human resilience on the margins.

The landscape of Verge is peopled with characters who are innocent and imperfect, wise and endangered: an eight-year-old black-market medical courier, a restless lover haunted by memories of his mother, a teenage girl gazing out her attic window at a nearby prison, all of them wounded but grasping toward transcendence. Clear-eyed yet inspiring, Verge challenges us with moments of uncomfortable truth, even as it urges us to place our faith not in the flimsy guardrails of society but in the memories held—and told—by our own individual bodies.

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Excerpt

The Pull
 
In the water the swimmer feels weightless. The blue of the pool fills her ears and holds her body and shuts out the world. Swimming is her favorite state of being. On land, the swimmer can barely breathe. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. How do the characters in Verge live in-between worlds, on the edge of things, differently than other people? What’s meaningful about their in-between lives?

2. Several stories in Verge involve people trying to makes sense grief or trauma in unusual ways—often by and through the body or even parts of the body. How do the characters reimagine bodies in order to heal themselves or transcend their circumstances?

3. The short punch fragmented stories about women who are on the edge seem to be left unresolved—like a woman or women caught in the moment before something huge is about to happen—what do we learn about these women in those moments? How does the last story in the book speak back to these fragmented women on the edge?

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