Adi's Journal

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Ben Marcus – A Spicy mix of traditional narrative and experimental storytelling – #BlogchatterA2Z

textgram_1522639089It’s a day 2 and after our trip to the Scottish stories, it’s a time to hit the roads in Chicago to meet Mr. Ben Marcus. Ben was born on 11th October 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Ben has been writing short stories, essays in leading American periodicals. Ben has been fascinated by some wonderful storytellers like Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Donald Barthelme, Richard Yates, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Bernhard, Padgett Powell, J. M. Coetzee, Kōbō Abe, Gary Lutz, and George Saunders.

Marcus-Fiction-QA-Photograph by DPA Picture Alliance - Alamy
Photograph curtsy by DPA Picture Alliance – Alamy


So, here in this blog, I present you his one of the latest book Leaving the sea: Stories which is published by Alfred A. Knopf in January 2014. This collection covers a span of 12-13 years of his writing and it’s said that we can observe a variety of the storytelling Ben has up in his sleeves from traditional narratives to the experimental storytelling. While describing his art of storytelling, Stuart Kelly writes in his review for The Guardian, “His subtle kinks of syntax, his daring choices of individual words and combinations of them, which seem a quarter tone out but somehow wholly right, the reiterated concerns – a pervading sense of guilt, the surrealism of sexuality, dangerous but necessary generational relationships – do not make for easy reading. That is not to say that he is a difficult writer; merely that he deals with strong emotional material in a unique and experimental style.”

But when Ben talks about the stories in this book at Chicago Humanities Festival of 2014, his words were – “I just hadn’t written a certain kind of story, maybe a more straightforward story. A story which had a chance to reach as deep as I could inside somebody’s body and bring out the stuff that really mattered about it. I wanted to do something which I hadn’t done. About just psychology of the characters.”

5181gvCLIaL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_I am intrigued by the book because of the span it covers in terms of the writing of the story. The way it deals with loneliness, isolation, death and frustration in dark, funny and unique way puts this book on my TBR list.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is a very old cliché, but the cover for this anthology is so pretty and vibrant, you can’t ignore it if you come across it on one of the shelves in a bookstore near you. Guys, what are you waiting for, head out and grab your copy or else you can find it at the following links.




Hardcover: 288 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307379388

ISBN-13: 978-0307379382


Adding this to the amazing bucket of blogs at #BlogchatterA2Z.


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7 thoughts on “Ben Marcus – A Spicy mix of traditional narrative and experimental storytelling – #BlogchatterA2Z

    1. These are not reviews, They are kind of previews. I am listing these authors and the TBR books by these authors. 🙂
      Don’t worry you will find the time…

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