ISBN 978-1-940400-06-8 | Fiction | 144 pages | $14.00 | pub date: 2/24/2015
Review on Goodreads.
Praise for Discomfort
[A] beautifully constructed collection of stories—slim, spare, and mysterious… a subtly assured voice … The overall feeling is one of microscopy—as if Hampton has us looking so close, has us rooted so deeply into the grit of her characters’ experiences, that the edges and the context get lost … The stories feel real, feel like they get at some essential, mundane ill-ease, even if we could not say precisely how their odd, looping logic reflects our experience, except in so far as we all live within the closed loops of our bodies and minds.
—Heavy Feather Review
In startling, often breathtaking ways, Evelyn Hampton examines self and object and word and world in these pages, moving with wonder and hopefulness through all the bewilderment and beauty that is the human predicament. A moving and impressive debut.
Evelyn Hampton’s Discomfort is a stunning first collection of stories that take place in the gap that exists between the world and our perception of the world. And, when it has to make a choice, it comes down not on the side of reality but on that of embodied, eccentric perception. Hampton cannily reveals the uncanniness of all we think we know, and shows that that uncanniness belongs as much to our own minds as to things themselves.
Hampton’s stunned sentences will remind you, because you have forgotten, how piercingly disregulating life is. Discomfort is an amazing experience.
The discomfort we often come up against in these stories is the discomfort of encountering the uncanny… and the stories in her collection have the ability to transform this mundane and familiar existence into something strange and sometimes scary, but exhilarating and beautiful as well.
[T]he language is lit up… Language as buffer, language as a way to navigate the world, language front and centre at all times… Discomfort should appeal to anyone who appreciates an earnest view (that’s not entirely sombre) of where we are in the world, along with offbeat lines and humour, and precision in writing.
—Jeff Bursey in the Winnipeg Review
Discomfort … asks us to look just a little deeper into the distorted and often dreadful ways in which we manage memory and meaning, cope with identity and structure and resist reality and artifice, reminding readers what it is like to be human under the limitations of language and the illusion of living.
—Black Sun Lit
Hampton’s stories look at the world — and our perceptions of the world — exposing the anxieties and sense of impermanence that define our current age.
—The Chicago Tribune
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Read an interview with the author at Black Sun Lit.
Read a story from the collection online:
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Evelyn Hampton is the author of the chapbook We Were Eternal and Gigantic (Magic Helicopter Press). Her writing can be found in The Brooklyn Rail, The Denver Quarterly, New York Tyrant, Birkensnake, Conjunctions, and other venues. She graduated with an MFA from the Literary Arts program at Brown University. She’s @lispservice