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Glossary for the End of Days: Stories
by Ian Stansel
Acre Books, 2020
eISBN: 978-1-946724-35-9 | Paper: 978-1-946724-34-2

Following his acclaimed debut novel, The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo, the eleven stories of Ian Stansel’s Glossary for the End of Days explore today’s cultural and political climate with a disarming blend of speculation and realism. Whether faced with tragedy, approaching disaster, or an all-too-familiar uncertainty, Stansel’s protagonists—siblings, lovers, executives, drifters—reveal complex and often startling turns of mind, surprising themselves as well as the reader.

In Boulder, a man calls into a radio program with an altered tale of his brother’s murder—and faces the consequences when the story goes viral. In Tampa, a woman attends a convention of people believing themselves to be targets of clandestine government agencies. In Houston, a family with many secrets attempts to escape an oncoming tropical storm. In an East Coast college town, a professor has a charged run-in with a young woman from the radical right. And in Iowa, a cult suicide spurs the lone survivor to create a “glossary” in an effort to come to terms with his experience.

Simultaneously gritty and lyrical, grounded and visionary, Glossary for the End of Days gives us characters grappling with how to push on through dark days and dark times. This arresting, relevant collection tunes into and seeks to illuminate shared anxieties about the present—and future—of our world.

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