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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409042532
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

Skinned Alive

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A powerful collection of short stories from one of America's best writers

Shannon Burke earned stunning reviews for his debut novel, Safelight, and now he returns with the same minimalist intensity in this arresting follow-up.

Black Flies is the story of paramedic Ollie Cross and his first year on the job in mid-1990s Harlem. It is a ground’s eye view of life on the streets: the shoot-outs, the bad cops, unhinged medics, and hopeless patients, the dark humour in bizarre circumstances, and one medic’s fight to balance his instinct to help against the growing callousness within him that witnessing daily horrors seems to encourage. It is the story of lives that hang in the balance, and of a single job with a misdiagnosed newborn that sends Cross and his long-serving partner into a life-changing struggle between good and evil.

A gripping and unforgettable novel about a young man’s indelible experiences, Black Flies describes the passing of the torch from the older to the younger man, friendship in extreme conditions, deterioration, despair, and then redemption.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409042532
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Edmund White

Edmund White was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1940. His fiction includes the autobiographical sequence A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Farewell Symphony, as well as Caracole, Forgetting Elena, Noctunes for the King of Naples, and Skinned Alive, a collection of short stories. He is also the author of a highly acclaimed biography of Jean Genet, a short study of Proust, a travel book about America - States of Desire - and of Sketches from Memory, with Hubert Sorin. He is an officer of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

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Praise for Skinned Alive

“each of the stories is self-defining ....to etch their portrait or (to use the metaphor of the title story) skin the subject, exposing nerves and tendons to the bloodthirsty curiosity of the reader.”


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