The Grip of It
MCD x FSG Originals, forthcoming October 2019
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In Jac Jemc’s dislocating second story collection, False Bingo, we watch as sinister forces—some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not—work their ways into the mundanity of everyday life.
“Strange Loop” introduces us to an outcast who, attempting to escape an unnamed mistake, spends his days taxiderming animals, while in “Delivery,” a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. “Don’t Let’s” finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense and crafted with masterful restraint, these twenty stories explore what happens when our fears become real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the shrewd narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
“Tense, well-imagined stories whose tendencies to unravel mirror the characters they chronicle.”
“Jemc continues to solidify her standing as a talented writer of the uncanny, the horrifying, and the hilarious.”