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Subcortical

Stories by Lee Conell

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The off-balance and lively characters in Subcortical use braininess and grit in their attempts to navigate beyond the borders of their homes and histories.

Winner of the Story Prize Spotlight Award of The Story Prize, Bronze Book Award Short Story Fiction of the Independent Publisher, Winner of the Short Fiction Award of the American Book Fest

Recipient of the 2018 Story Prize Spotlight Award

Lee Conell’s linguistically deft stories examine the permeability between the real and the imagined, the stories buried beneath the surface and the stories by which we live our lives.

In the title story of…

The off-balance and lively characters in Subcortical use braininess and grit in their attempts to navigate beyond the borders of their homes and histories.

Winner of the Story Prize Spotlight Award of The Story Prize, Bronze Book Award Short Story Fiction of the Independent Publisher, Winner of the Short Fiction Award of the American Book Fest

Recipient of the 2018 Story Prize Spotlight Award

Lee Conell’s linguistically deft stories examine the permeability between the real and the imagined, the stories buried beneath the surface and the stories by which we live our lives.

In the title story of this collection, a young woman who wants to become a doctor is manipulated by an older man into playing a role in one of his medical studies. In "The Lock Factory," winner of the Chicago Tribune’s 2016 Nelson Algren Literary Award, three women who assemble school combination locks are trapped inside an escalating generational conflict of their own making. A boy who has lost his mother in "The Rent-Controlled Ghost" searches for the spirit of the mistreated tenant who formerly inhabited his apartment. "A Magic Trick for the Recently Unemployed" serves as a three-step how-to guide for reclaiming a sense of self and purpose. In "What the Blob Said to Me," an elderly woman dwells on her long-ago experience working at a government production site for the atomic bomb. And a mother-daughter Groupon for an upscale afternoon tea goes seriously awry in "Mutant at the Pierre Hotel."

With humor and verve, Subcortical’s dynamic stories delve into the mysteries of the human mind as these haunted characters struggle with economic disparity, educational divides, and the often-contested spaces in which they live.

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Subcortical

Stories by Lee Conell

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Reviews

Reviews

Conell brings the characters in her rich debut collection to life in weird, wise, and often poignant ways.

Conell invites us into our own world with new eyes that capture the extraordinary details of the everyday and experience the extraordinary as merely mundane... These stories ask the reader to look closely at our present moment, to uncover its wonders and marvels. These stories are a reflection rather than a solution. They'll do better than break your heart—they'll shake it up and set the pieces cascading like snow in a globe, settling eventually in a familiar but different arrangement.

Lee Conell’s stories are structurally masterful. With their knowledge of diverse work, regions, and backgrounds, these stories comprise a tremendous portrait of the way we live now. Conell’s theme is curiosity itself, and she goes to unexpected narrative places, lets differences collide, and keeps her readers on their toes. Did I neglect to say she is also very funny? Subcortical is a brilliant collection.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
256
ISBN
9781421424224
Table of Contents

1. The Lock Factory
2. A Suggestion
3. Unit Cell
4. What the Blob Said to Me
5. My Four Stomachs
6. The Rent-Controlled Ghost
7. Subcortical
8. A Guide to Sirens
9. Hart Island
10. Recuerdo
11. The Afterlife of

1. The Lock Factory
2. A Suggestion
3. Unit Cell
4. What the Blob Said to Me
5. My Four Stomachs
6. The Rent-Controlled Ghost
7. Subcortical
8. A Guide to Sirens
9. Hart Island
10. Recuerdo
11. The Afterlife of Turtles
12. Guardian
13. Ghost Train
14. The Sextrology Woman
15. A Magic Trick for the Recently Unemployed
16. Mutant at the Pierre Hotel
Acknowledgments

Author Bio
Lee Conell
Featured Contributor

Lee Conell

Lee Conell has taught for Southern Word, SUNY New Paltz, and Vanderbilt University, where she earned her MFA. Her fiction has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review online, Guernica, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. This is her first book.