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A Pornography of Grief

In this affecting, harrowing, and darkly hilarious debut collection, Philip Huang explores the topics that compel us and terrify us: sex, grief, and death. Huang understands how powerfully we are drawn to these things, even as we publicly turn away from them and confine them to the safe spaces behind closed doors. A woman lives with a band of fellow survivors in a ratty hotel, all keeping intoxicated watch over comatose loved ones. A bride who has survived her own decapitation keeps losing her head at her own wedding. The author of a self-help book comes to terms with how little help she has ever really had. The past and the present blur together in ways that only people living at the periphery of reason understand. One finds profound sympathy, a black sense of humor, and an icy sort of justice in these stories. Like a good sad album, this book opens up wounds, probes the sorrows and strange lives of its characters, and finds transcendence in unexpected places. These are the stories of the walking wounded. These are the stories of the ones who have survived. This is the beauty, this is the pathology, this is the pornography of grief.

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