You Want More: Selected Stories of George Singleton
With his signature darkly acerbic and sharp-witted humor, George Singleton has built a reputation as one of the most astute and wise observers of the South. Now Tom Franklin introduces this master of the form with a compilation of acclaimed and prize-winning short fiction spanning twenty years and eight collections.
With his signature darkly acerbic and sharp-witted humor, George Singleton has built a reputation as one of the most astute and wise observers of the South. Now Tom Franklin introduces this master of the form with a compilation of acclaimed and prize-winning short fiction spanning twenty years and eight collections, including stories originally published in outlets like the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Playboy, the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, and many more. These stories bear the influence of Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver, at other times Lewis Nordan and Donald Barthelme, and touch on the mysteries of childhood, the complexities of human relationships, and the absurdity of everyday life, with its inexorable defeats and small triumphs.
Praise for George Singleton
“Among the great pillars of Southern literature.”―The New York Times
"These stories have absurdist energy, wit, and inventiveness to burn, but antic comedy is their mode and métier, not their sole aim or reason for being. Singleton's work doesn't wear literariness on its sleeve; even when he channels canonical writers, as in "John Cheever, Rest in Peace," he does so in a way that's literal and can seem almost anti-literary—making the grandly metaphorical, life-spanning "The Swimmer" into a story in which a man suffers a heart attack on his riding mower and then, dead, cuts a gently arcing swath across his town before crashing into a silo. But these stories are often sneakily ambitious, sneakily moving. Singleton has Charles Portis' gift for writing a satire both ruthless and lined always with affection, and like that Southern icon, he's a master of and evangelist for the joys and idiosyncrasies of speech, especially the loquacious talk of barrooms and Little League fields and scrapbooking shops.For the uninitiated, a wonderful introduction to a Southern original."―Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“George Singleton is one of the funniest writers in America. He's also the writer most attuned to the American freakshow―its hilarity, its hopes, its heartbreak. His fiction has mattered, a lot, for as long as he's been writing it, but it's never mattered more than now. You Want More is a major book from a major writer.”―Brock Clarke, author of Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?
“Over his career, George Singleton has written unruly characters living unruly lives. His depictions of the American South―in particular the everyday tumult of white blue-collar men and women struggling to come to terms with this strange and chaotic world― are both tragic and comic, heartbreaking, surreal, and―when least expected―weirdly ebullient. Singleton is a brilliant storyteller; his vision is crystal clear and wonderfully warped.” ―Julianna Baggott, author of Burn
“Singleton’s South doesn’t look like anybody else’s.” —The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
“A disturbingly askew vision of the South.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“George Singleton is a madman. He's also one of the most talented writers the South has turned out in decades.” —The Charleston Post and Courier