A little girl who disguises herself as an old man, an addict who collects dollhouse furniture, a crime reporter confronted by a talking dog, a painter trying to prove the non-existence of god, and lovers in a penal colony who communicate through technical drawings -- these are just a few of the characters who live among the ruins.
RUIN is both bracingly timely and eerily timeless in its examination of an American state in free-fall, unsparing in its disregard for broken institutions, while shining with compassion for all who are left in their wake. Cara Hoffman's short fictions are brutal, surreal, hilarious, and transgressive, celebrating the sharp beauty of outsiders and the infinitely creative ways humans muster psychic resistance under oppressive conditions. The ultimate effect of these ten interconnected stories is one of invigoration and a sense of possibilities -- hope for a new world extracted from the rubble of the old.
"Tough, scarred, feral and sexy. The book and the characters refuse to conform and like in all good outlaw literature [Hoffman] takes sharp aim at the contemporary culture's willingness to do so." -- Justin Torres, Author of We the Animals
"The stories of RUIN deftly display the horror and ugliness of our culture of violence and consumption, yet also reveal the delicate humanity within our collective yearning. Reading Cara Hoffman's fiction makes me not only want to write better, but to be better." -- Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
"If there is such a thing as 'anarchist fiction, ' it must be fiction that breaks all the rules of time and space, of realism and the fantastic, of fact and feelings. RUIN is true, exciting, anarchist fiction." -- Nick Mamatas, author of The People's Republic of Everything, The Second Shooter, and Planetbreaker's Son.
About the Author:
Cara Hoffman is the author of three New York Times Editors' Choice novels; the most recent, Running, was named a Best Book of the Year by Esquire Magazine. She first received national attention in 2011 with the publication of So Much Pretty which sparked a national dialogue on violence and retribution, and was named a Best Novel of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. Her second novel, Be Safe I Love You was nominated for a Folio Prize, named one of the Five Best Modern War Novels, and awarded a Sundance Global Filmmaking Award. A MacDowell Fellow and an Edward Albee Fellow, she has lectured at Oxford University's Rhodes Global Scholars Symposium and at the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, BOMB, Bookforum, Rolling Stone, Daily Beast, and on NPR. A founding editor of the Anarchist Review of Books, and part of the Athens Workshop collective, she lives in Athens, Greece with her partner.