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Man and Wife

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This bracing, intelligent debut tackles the strangeness of growing up, the joys and difficulties of breaking away from family, and our sometimes absurd or downright dangerous rites of passage. The girls and women in these stories come up against the rules and roles that give shape to their worlds. As marriages are arranged over tea, blood feuds simmer beneath football game ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by A Strange Object

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  100 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The first story in this collection is called "Refugees".
.....narrated by a 14 year old girl.
Her family is living off of lentils and rice,
sleeping in tents...having settled at a camp for a year. Their house forclosed.
It was the type of story that had just enough interesting side themes -( of concern to the parents), besides the basic survival challenges...
That I wasn't sure what the 'punch' was at the end...yet I sure felt a 'punch'.

Not being ready to read the next story...I read it again.

Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow! This is a wonderful collection of short stories that I hope readers will pick up and enjoy. There are several common themes threading their way through the stories including: societal gender roles, the competition among and between girls and women, the vulnerability and seeming powerlessness of women in many cultures and the ways in which they are able to rebel, pasts that once seemed laid to rest that come back to haunt… This is a book that is affecting and powerful. It is a book that make ...more
Ann Farrah
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Katie Chase is an author whose ear is tuned to contemporary issues and who also has a sense of the historical context of these issues. She delivers stunning stories with characters who are compelling and lively.
There is no story in this collection that does not speak to us...does not make us want to know more and keep reading...wondering why things are as they are...and oh, the circumstances in which these women (and men) find themselves! The characters are presented with compassion and Ms. Chas
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is some of the best, most original writing I have ever read. I have read some of the stories a few times, and each time I read them with a different perspective and each read adds another layer.
Andrew Dugas
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a reader, I am hard to please. I start more books than I finish. This book was recommended by someone in my writing group, and now I really owe them. I burned through this collection. If you write short stories and are looking for the inheritor of Cheever or Carver, you are in luck.

Katie Chase is a writer who knows what the f*ck she is doing, which is all too rare these days. One great example of her skill is captured in this brief passage. (Context: an unmarried woman unexpectedly encounters
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-lit
Many of these stories have a macabre twist, like they take place in parallel world. A dad comes home to pop champagne and celebrate something that's so Shirley Jackson Lotteryesque. Every good marriage begins with tears has a literal meaning. Seriously literally.

Old Maid was my favorite with it's twists with basketball shorts and coarse comments between exes who pretend they aren't.

Chase's stories are longer then the typical short story - most are 30-50 pages. This gives you time to get into t
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the hell out of this book of tightly-focused stories, and even when the fantastic dystopian elements of the first two stories fell away to the more mundane worlds of the later stories, that sense of dread and uncertainty remained even though the world was recognizably ours. Chase is very effective at stripping back the power relations between men and women and being honest about how it might feel to be a woman-- or that's how I read it. The stories throughout are well-constructed and t ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delightful read in advance of moderating her panel at the Texas Book Festival on short fiction!
Sue Davis
One of my favorites. Almost all the stories have a twist that consists of changing one thing in our reality to create a parallel world or a dystopian future.
Anna Marie
A debut collection of stories about girls and women and life. You don't get shown the "why" of the stories, just the feelings of growth and adjustment as they work on becoming adults, and also wives and/or mothers. These stories will definitely get you right in the gut, about all sorts of feelings and thought provoking actions. Lots of "how" will go running through your brain. How did they end up doing that specific thing?
˗ˏˋ maddie ˊˎ˗
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-wins
full disclosure: i received an arc (yes, i know, yikes) through a goodreads giveaway.

this was... fine. meaning, by this time tomorrow i won't remember a single bit of it as nothing stood out to me — no plot or turn of phrase — in a good or bad way.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Cool concepts, but most stories I didn't connect with, and a few creeped me out. There's hints of child molestation and threats of rape in some of the stories.
Arja Salafranca
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
These are not easy stories to read at times. Not because they aren’t masterful and compelling – they are that and more – but because the subject matter is sometimes horrific. A seemingly innocent story turns on itself and we’re left agape, shocked by what it is humans and can and do to each other. Katie Chase’s vision is sometimes dark, but it’s powerful, precisely because she shines a light on those hidden corners of human behaviour that it’s difficult to acknowledge and bear. There are a numbe ...more
Ellie Botoman
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
i got this collection of short stories through my work. honestly, i didn't know what to expect but i really appreciated the wide range of stories in this collection. some stories were definitely stronger than others, and have the potential to become full-fledged books, but overall Chase chose to explore the themes in her story in a really creative way. i will say, though, that it was really frustrating to read some of these stories set in non-contemporary worlds (like futuristic dystopias) just ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
Collection of stories centered around women at odds with, or trying to come to an understanding with, the conventions of odd, often dystopian worlds. These stories are well-written but didn't quite click with me; they often seem perhaps more concerned with their premises--as in the title story's very Handmaid's Tale-esque examination of a girl taken as a capitalist child bride--than with the development of more immediate conflict for the characters. Highlights: A girl works to maintain a family ...more
Chantel DaCosta
It took me a very long time to get through this short story collection. With themes of womanhood, feminism, patriarchy, female oppression, child abuse, violence against women, these stories started strong but then while each are told in a first person narration, the voice is almost the same throughout and stories are neither character or plot driven.
lark benobi
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I need more from a story than these stories gave to me, especially stories told in first person. For me as a reader, the voice in each story sounded similar, and the direction each story was going in felt obvious. These are very personal reactions to stories that really have nothing wrong with them, just wrong for me.
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Some of the stories were a bit too much for me (especially after just finishing The Border of Paradise) but did enjoy the less supernatural ones. ...more
Sharon Martell
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May 21, 2016
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Jan 02, 2017
Seamus Thompson
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May 24, 2016
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Dec 10, 2016
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Jan 05, 2017
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Jul 05, 2020
rated it it was ok
Dec 17, 2019
Matthew Fogarty
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Jul 02, 2017
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Jul 24, 2016
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Jan 10, 2013
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Katie Chase is the author of the story collection Man and Wife (A Strange Object), which was named a best book of 2016 by Entropy and Electric Literature. Her short fiction has appeared in such publications as the Missouri Review, Narrative, ZYZZYVA, Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, and the Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Michener-Copernicus Award, she ha ...more

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“I was sorry I'd scared them, but some lessons you ought to learn as soon as you can: never trust a woman once she's loved you. It's a spell whose breaking takes many tries; she'll think she's through, then call you back, conjure you up out of air. And at last, she'll do anything, just to be free.” 0 likes
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