Ball is the thrilling and emotionally provocative debut collection of short fiction by the acclaimed author of the novels Rockaway and A Child Out of Alcatraz and the essay collection Reeling through Life. Ball explores the darker edges of love and sex and death, how they are intimately and often violently connected, with bright, vivid stories set mostly in contemporary Los Angeles. In "Cactus," a young girl comes to fear the outside world following the freakish, accidental death of her adventure-seeking, naturalist boyfriend in the California desert; in "Wig," a woman must help her best friend face life-threatening cancer while covering up an unseemly affair with her friend's husband; in "Fish," the narrator sits watch over a dying uncle, trying to pay for past sins while administering to his final needs, but distracted by the ravenous fish in the Koi pond near the hospital; and in the collection's stunning title story, the bonds of friendship and pet ownership collide in the most startling and unexpected ways. With a keen insight into the edges of human behavior and an assured literary hand, Ball is the new book by one of the West's most provocative stylists.
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