World Like A Knife

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“Akins is clearly interested in archetypal relationships: mother-daughter, father-daughter, father-son. The title of these impressive stories is apt. Like a knife, the author’s fictional world is cold, sharp, and deadly. . . Drifters, murderers, molesters, and other simply working-class people populate these tales which, because the props are so few, appear to take place out of time, like a play by Samuel Beckett.  But more like the plays of Harold Pinter, the atmosphere is menacing.”
—Sara Mosle, New York Newsday

“Ellen Akins’s world is like a knife: dangerous yet also deceptively ordinary. . . . Although her subtle prose can be gorgeous, the thought processes that it documents occasionally take challenging twists. Ms. Akins is a writer who demands real concentration, but the effort is well worth it. You won’t find many epiphanies in this unadorned fiction–Ms. Akins is too much of a realist for that–but you will find gemlike interior moments that accumulate to create a complex and uncomfortable world.”
—Cheri Fein, New York Times Book Review

“Once you’ve read Ellen Akins’s novella, ‘Arriving in the Dark,’ you will never forget it.”
—Mary Ann Grossman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Ten powerful stories about people who are often caught up in circumstances out of control or not of their own making, and about a world of difficult choices, choices often forced upon them with unexpected endings.”