Bret Anthony Johnston - Corpus Christi - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473611542
    • Publication date:12 Feb 2015

Corpus Christi

By Bret Anthony Johnston

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

SHORT STORIES FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS ('excellent' The Sunday Times - 'beautiful' Observer)
An intensely moving collection set in the eye of life's storms.

'A GORGEOUS, ACCOMPLISHED DEBUT' DAVID MITCHELL (Independent Books of the Year)
In Corpus Christi, Texas - a town often hit by hurricanes - parents, children, and lovers come together and fall apart, bonded and battered by memories of loss that they feel as acutely as physical pain.
A car accident joins strangers linked by an intimate knowledge of madness. A teenage boy remembers his father's act of sudden and self-righteous violence. A 'hurricane party' reunites a couple whom tragedy parted. And, in an unforgettable three-story cycle, an illness heals a man's relationship with his mother and reveals the odd, shifting fidelity of truth to love.
Told in fresh, lyrical voices and taut, inventive styles, these narratives explore the complex volatility of love and intimacy, sorrow and renewal. Writing with tough humor, deep humanity, and a keen eye for the natural environment, Bret Anthony Johnston creates a world where cataclysmic events cut people loose from their 'regular lives, floating and spiraling away from where we had been the day before.'

The extraordinarily ambitious debut of one of contemporary American most exquisitely talented voices, now available from Two Roads in a new paperback edition.

Biographical Notes

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the award-winning Corpus Christi: Stories, which was described by David Mitchell as 'a gorgeous, accomplished debut', and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Independent and the Irish Times, and the novel Remember Me Like This, a New York Times Editor's Choice and one of the Observer's best Holiday Reads 2014.
His work appears in the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, the Paris Review, the Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere.
A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he's the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and a 5 Under 35 honor from the National Book Foundation. He teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars and at Harvard University, where he is the Director of Creative Writing.

bretanthonyjohnston.com
Facebook/BAJbooks

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473611559
  • Publication date: 12 Feb 2015
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Two Roads
A gorgeous, accomplished debut. — David Mitchell, The Independent (Books of the Year)
Stunning and complex... It's hurricane country, and Johnston's exquisitely drawn men and women are riders on the storm, coping with an iffy emotional landscape that mirrors Corpus Christi's own, where the past is too easily washed away and the ocean has no memory. — Los Angeles Times
Hard-eyed, life-affirming... These stories are relentlessly sober, large-hearted, and intense. In their pathos, to quote C. S. Lewis on Chaucer, "every fluctuation of gnawing hope, every pitiful subterfuge of the flattering imagination, is held up to our eyes without mercy" (The Allegory of Love); and yet their effect is spiritually bracing. We are human to the last. — Boston Sunday Globe
Fans of Raymond Carver's spare, carefully crafted stories will rejoice... [Johnston has] a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue and a dead-on eye for conjuring an entire universe with one simple detail... His ten stories are individual gems... Johnston's genius lies in weaving a web of optimism around a series of difficult topics. If [these stories] are read as they seem destined to be - obsessively, in one sitting - their rapt audience will turn the last page with a profound sense of calm. — San Francisco Chronicle
In the mold of Denis Johnson, Ian McEwan, and Barry Gifford, Johnston is a writer of stories that peel away the soul of a man, sometimes with quaking fingers, other times with a hunting knife. The stories are sometimes spastically violent, other times uncommonly delicate, but always memorable. — Pages
Compelling and haunting... Johnston's evocative descriptions of events, feelings, and Corpus Christi itself connect readers to his characters and their dilemmas and reactions to tragedy. — Library Journal
[A] promising debut collection... astutely observed... Johnston's Corpus is America in microcosm. But it is the emotional landscape that interests the author, not the physical, and, without lapsing into sentimentality, he evokes a peculiarly American brand of abject loneliness and tentative optimism. — Publishers Weekly
The world that Johnston brings us into is at once familiar and oddly surreal, for the author writes with great attention to detail and nuance. — Kirkus Reviews
[Bret Anthony Johnston is] a fresh young writer from Texas who writes as if he's a wise old man from the hard cities of the heart. His honesty is a beacon to the soul. — Chris Offutt, Tin House
Beautifully written... Johnston's stories extract truth through their bittersweet tone. — Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
As refreshing as a cool breeze on a humid summer day - and as strong and surprising as a short-notice tropical storm... sharp, tough, and poignant... "Two Liars" and the title story, "Corpus Christi," are among the best short works to emerge from Texas in quite some time. A good story induces a polite nod; a great story can hurt your feelings. These stories can make a reader's blood ache. — Texas Books in Review
[An] engaging collection... In simple, unadorned prose [Johnston] goes to the heart of each loss and makes his readers care about lives that usually merit no more than a paragraph in the local paper. — Baltimore Sun
Excruciatingly beautiful... With a compassion that belies his years, Bret Anthony Johnston turns a questing eye on life's difficulties in his extraordinary debut collection... These thoughtful pieces contain the very gist of universal human experience - people straining to connect, people needing to understand. — Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Bret Anthony Johnston's premier collection, Corpus Christi, sways as easily as a palm in the wind... Beautiful, simple prose... The stories function like a five-car pileup. It is impossible to look away. — Mid-American Review
Ordinary people in ordinary circumstances are the catalysts for extraordinary fiction in this impressive debut collection of short stories. — The Dallas Morning News
Johnston is a remarkable writer. His economy of words and simplicity of expression are his power tools. How did one so young gain this enormous insight into the human heart and understanding of the human condition? Corpus Christi is a small masterpiece. — Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, California)
Johnston's depiction of Corpus Christi, half-there, grey and dishevelled, is a brilliant background choice for the collection of stories whose characters are also neither here nor there. — The Texas Observer
A beautiful and auspicious debut, Corpus Christi points to a bright future both for the short story genre and for Johnston as a writer. If Corpus Christi is any indication, we can expect great things from both in years to come. — Arkansas Times
Taut, tender... acutely observed, true-to-life stories wrung completely of sentiment... Johnston has a long career ahead of him. — San Antonio Express-News
Johnston writes prose that is lurid, clean, and marked by precise images. His stories possess something tempestuous; they evoke that pre-storm air pressure, when the air gets thick and the sky turns a dark and sickly yellow... Astonishing revelations and emotional insight. — The Boston Phoenix
In the hands of South Texas native Bret Anthony Johnston, human emotions are exotic beasts and Corpus Christi is the zoo where he puts them all on display. The ten stories in this debut collection... are litera verité depictions of simple family relationships. — Texas Monthly
Simplistic and brisk on the surface, Johnston's debut collection of short stories is actually intense and lyrical, with compact, penetrating sentences and dialogue precise enough to have been lifted from a Dictaphone... Wryly comical... achingly beautiful. — LA Weekly
Johnston depicts [Corpus Christi's] inhabitants with lyricism and sympathy. — The Atlantic Online
Johnston... surrounds a study of loneliness with its most natural companions - memories, which he handles gently, sensitive to their decay... This is wonderful writing, easily evocative, and it makes memory almost tactile. — Austin American-Statesman
The humour here is tough and the emotions wrenching. Johnston's eye for humanity and the natural world around us is wonderfully keen. — The Birmingham News
Corpus Christi... is a breath of fresh air, an inspired work from a formidable new talent and proof that the art of the short story is still alive and well in the field of American fiction... Each well-honed story in Corpus Christi glimmers... These stories thrive, peopled with living and breathing characters and fraught with conflict and the kind of imagery that crawls under your skin and makes you shiver with despair and recognition... Just as Faulkner did with the fictional county of Yoknapatawpha, Johnston has given us a fully realized world in which his vivid characters seek to understand their stark, dirty, and even threatening surroundings. — The Chattahoochee Review
Johnston's stories read as if they were written by someone who's lived various lives and has had time enough to develop real wisdom, generosity, and the art of making strong, clean sentences. What I especially love about Corpus Christi is the fact that many of the characters walk the finest line between violence and love, and do so with a tenderness that is heartbreaking. — Jane Hamilton, author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World
Bret Anthony Johnston is a name to put on your list - that list of writers you always read first. He knows how you can despair of people and go on treasuring them - hard-living, hard-headed, unexpected people who look out of his stories like brightly lit signposts on a dark highway. "Look here," they say. "Right here." — Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
In his first collection of stories, Johnston eloquently depicts individual lives at once haunted and painfully enriched by memory, and by the losses of which memory is made. A wise and moving debut by a talented young writer. — John Burnham Schwartz, author of Claire Marvel
I'm looking forward to a week in southern Spain in the company of Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston. It has a fascinating fictional premise: a missing child who comes back and a changed family who have to get used to the idea. I've dipped into it already and the writing is clear and beautiful. Besides, a novel that comes with effusive quotes from John Irving and Alice Sebold has to be pretty good. — Observer (Best Summer Reads 2014) on REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
Johnston's excellent debut is primarily a literary novel, with old-fashioned virtues such as rich characterisation, strong structure and impeccable control of tone. Although it is reminiscent of John Updike, the mixture of summer heat and melancholy feels peculiarly Texan — The Sunday Times on REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
enthralling and skillful... the book's beauty is in its complexity, in its characters' endless search for the truth... uncomfortably revealing... What Johnston captures and examines so expertly isn't the kind of sadistic cruelty familiar to anyone with a television, but a subtler, more quietly menacing variety, the eggshell tiptoeing, the killing kindness we unknowingly inflict when acting out of love and fear... Remember Me Like This isn't a novel about kidnapping. It's not a psychological study of Stockholm syndrome or a victimology. It's not a thriller, and it's not even really a mystery, unless it's an unsolved one, the exquisitely moral mystery of how we struggle to accept and love the people we call family, even when we can't fully know them — New York Times on REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
Two Roads

Remember Me Like This

Bret Anthony Johnston
Authors:
Bret Anthony Johnston

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Alexandra Potter

Alexandra Potter was born in Yorkshire. Having lived in Los Angeles and Sydney after university, where she worked variously as a features editor and sub-editor for women's magazines including Elle, Company, Red and Australian Vogue, she now writes full time and lives between London and Los Angeles. She is the author of nine internationally bestselling novels of romantic fiction with a magical twist, including Don't You Forget About Me and Me and Mr Darcy, which won the Best New Fiction Award at the Jane Austen Regency World Awards 2007.You can find out more at www.alexandrapotter.com or on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Alexandra.Potter.Author or follow Alexandra on Twitter @AlexPotterBooks.

Alexandra Raife

Alexandra Raife has lived abroad in many countries and worked at a variety of jobs, including a six-year commission in the RAF and many years co-running a Highland hotel.

Andrew Taylor

A bestselling crime writer, Andrew Taylor has also worked as a boatbuilder, wages clerk, librarian, labourer and publisher's reader. He has written many prizewinning crime novels and thrillers, including the William Dougal crime series, the Lydmouth crime series, the ground-breaking Roth Trilogy - which was televised as ITV's Fallen Angel - and several standalone historical crime novels.His many awards include the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2009 for sustained excellence in crime writing, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, which he has won twice - most recently for his bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club novel, The American Boy, which was also selected for The Times Top Ten Crime Novels of the Decade. Bleeding Heart Square won Sweden's Martin Beck Award, the Golden Crowbar.Andrew Taylor is also the crime fiction reviewer of the Spectator. He lives with his wife in the Forest of Dean, on the borders of England and Wales. To find out more, visit Andrew's website, www.andrew-taylor.co.uk, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/andrewjrtaylor.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down.She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over sixty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards. Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006, and The Trader's Wife is on the shortlist for the 2012 award.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Anya Seton

Anya Seton was born in New York City and grew up on her father's large estate in Cos Cob and Greenwich, Connecticut, where visiting Indians taught her Indian dancing and woodcraft. One Sioux chief called her Anutika, which means 'cloud grey eyes', a name which the family shortened to Anya. She was educated by governesses, and then travelled abroad, first to England, then to France where she hoped to become a doctor. She studied for a while at the Hotel Dieu hospital in Paris before marrying at eighteen and having three children. She began writing in 1938 with a short story sold to a newspaper syndicate and the first of her novels was published in 1941. She died in 1990.

Audrey Howard

Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. Here fourth novel, The Juniper Bush, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 1988.She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.

Belinda Seaward

Belinda Seaward began her career as a journalist and has worked on national newspapers, including the Daily Mail and Sunday Times. She has also spent time on a coffee plantation in Zambia and in the Middle East, and now lives and works in Devon, where she has raised two Arab horses. You can follow Belinda on Twitter at www.twitter.com/belindasea.

Belva Plain

Belva Plain's first novel, EVERGREEN, was published in 1978 and became an international bestseller. Over the course of a career spanning three decades she published over twenty bestselling novels in 22 languages. She died at the age of ninety five in 2010.

Ben Bova

An award-winning editor, President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Ben Bova is also the author of more than one hundred futuristic novels and non-fiction books.

C. L. Parker

C.L. Parker is a romance author who writes smut and knows how to use it. She's a small town girl with big city dreams and enough tenacity to see them come to fruition.Having been the outgoing sort for all her life - which translates to 'she just wouldn't shut the hell up' - it's no wonder Parker eventually turned to writing as a way to let her voice, and those of the people living inside her head, be heard. She loves hard, laughs until it hurts, and lives like there's no tomorrow. In her world, everything truly does happen for a reason.

Cate Tiernan

Cate Tiernan was born in New Orleans, LA. She loves the idea of magick, and tries to write worlds that she would prefer to live in. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, four children, and a bunch of pets.

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. COLD MOUNTAIN, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, selling over one million copies and winning the National Book Award in 1997. It was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.A second novel, THIRTEEN MOONS, was published by Sceptre in 2007 and NIGHTWOODS, Charles' latest novel set in a lakeside town in 1960s North Carolina, was published in September 2011. To find out more, visit Charles' Facebook page www.facebook.com/CharlesFrazierAuthor or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Charles_Frazier.

Chris Ryan

Former SAS corporal and the only man to escape death or capture during the Bravo Two Zero operation in the 1991 Gulf War, Chris Ryan turned to writing thrillers to tell the stories the Official Secrets Act stops him putting in his non-fiction. His novels have gone on to inspire the Sky One series Strike Back. Born near Newcastle in 1961, Chris Ryan joined the SAS in 1984. During his ten years there he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris Ryan was the only member of an eight-man unit to escape from Iraq, where three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, fourteen bestselling novels and a series of childrens' books. Like playing Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Medal of Honour, Chris Ryan's writing will put you at the heart of the action. You can find out more information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChrisRyanBooks. You can also follow Chris on Twitter @exSASChrisRyan

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

Christina Hopkinson

Christina Hopkinson is an author and journalist whose work has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, The Times, Grazia and Red magazine. She lives in London with her husband and three children.Visit Christina's website at www.christinahopkinson.com and follow her on Twitter @Xtinahopkinson.

Christopher Farnsworth

Born and raised in Idaho, Christopher Farnsworth worked as an investigative and business reporter before selling his first screenplay. Since then, he has been coming up with new and better ways to kill monsters, bad guys and aliens. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jean Roosevelt Farnsworth, and their daughter, Caroline.

Ciara Geraghty

Ciara Geraghty is the author of five novels: Now That I've Found You, Saving Grace, Becoming Scarlett, Finding Mr Flood and Lifesaving for Beginners. She lives in Dublin with her husband, three children and dog.You can find out more at www.ciarageraghty.com, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/CiaraGeraghtyBooks, or follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/ciarageraghty.

Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He can be found in Brooklyn, when he isn't somewhere else. His debut novel, THE STRAIGHT RAZOR CURE, received great acclaim. TOMORROW, THE KILLING is the second novel in his 'Low Town' series, with the third publishing in 2013.