Worlds From the Word’s End by Joanna Walsh

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‘Joanna Walsh is clever, funny and merciless. She abducts people from their apparently normal lives and confronts them with the fact that dystopia is not a place in the future but a room in their own house.’
Yuri Herrera

Joanna Walsh

Price: £8.99/$13.95 (print); £5/$8 (ebook)

B format paperback


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
7 September 2017

This collection cements Joanna Walsh’s reputation as one of the sharpest writers of this century. Wearing her learning lightly, Walsh’s stories make us see the world afresh while showing us she has read the world. In ‘Like a Fish Needs a . . .’ – perhaps the funniest, most freewheeling story ever written about cycling (and Freud and and and . . .) you read shenanigans worthy of Flann O’Brien. Meanwhile, in ‘Worlds from the Word’s End’, Walsh conjures up a country in which words themselves fall out of fashion – something that will never happen wherever Walsh is read.

Praise for Worlds From the Word’s End

  • ‘Reality is comically unreliable in Walsh’s stories . . . [she] toys with notions of realism versus fantasy and autobiography versus fiction. She exposes, and revels in, the absurdity of these boundaries, their indistinctness. Her clever, self-parodying stories capture the existential disarrangement of the writer, but also the existential disarrangement of anyone who finds real life strange and, at times, quite unreal.’ Joanna Kavenna, The Guardian
  • ‘Joanna Walsh’s stories are playful and perplexing, delighting in wordplay and sly little puns.’ Eithne Farry, Daily Mail
  • ‘In Worlds From the Word’s End . . . Eve rolls back Adam’s enterprise of linguistic imperialism. There is a great deal of wordplay, but it is never gratuitous . . . Puns burrow rabbit-holes into the unconscious of language, the text seems to become self-generative.’ Andrew Gallix, Irish Times
  • ‘Walsh explores the uneasy coexistence of manifest and implied meaning . . . Even in the title lurks the danger of failed communication, with “word” and “world” being so visually similar that the unwary reader is liable to skate over the fault, falling into an auto-corrective trap that masks the dangerous truth of the matter.’ Rosie Šnajdr, Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘The teasing title of Joanna Walsh’s new collection, Worlds From the Word’s End, prepares the reader for the dexterous and subversive linguistic games within . . . What’s not said says everything. Ludic, contrarian, wry, sometimes savage, these associative vignettes stimulate and inspire.’ Jude Cook, The Spectator
  • ‘Unsparingly observant and disconcertingly sharp . . . an eerily matter-of-fact chronicle of our own impending doom.’ Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Worlds from the Word’s End puts narrative conventions and linguistic codes under great stress, and we finish the book feeling both have cracked here and there. We also feel, strangely, that Walsh’s private language has somehow become ours, as if we were suddenly fluent in a tongue we didn’t even know existed.’ Hernán Díaz, Publishers Weekly Favorite Books of 2017
  • ‘Joanna Walsh’s experimental fiction is at its best in this fantastic collection.’
  • ‘Joanna Walsh is clever, funny and merciless. She abducts people from their apparently normal lives and confronts them with the fact that dystopia is not a place in the future but a room in their own house.’ Yuri Herrera, author of Signs Preceding the End of the World
  • ‘Terrifyingly perceptive, subversively hilarious – these stories are part Daniil Kharms, part-Lydia Davis – while also managing to be singularly Joanna Walsh; how her writing always manages to make everything else I read (and write) seem specious and frivolous.’ Sara Baume, author of The Line Made by Walking
  • Worlds from the Word’s End is an anti-mainstream collection. Joanna Walsh’s thick, blurred and claustrophobic worlds deal with deconstruction, estrangement, silence and the disappearance of common language. This is unconventional writing that is going to enchant unconventional readers.’ Dubravka Ugrešić, author of Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

Praise for Joanna Walsh and Vertigo

  • ‘Joanna Walsh is fast becoming one of our most important writers.’ Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk
  • ‘Walsh’s writing has intellectual rigour and bags of formal bravery.’ Melissa Harrison, Financial Times
  • ‘Haunting and unforgettable stories.’ Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick
  • ‘Profoundly affecting.’ Alex Preston, Best Books of 2016, The Guardian
  • ‘Beautifully simple and unembellished.’ Claire Hazelton, The Guardian
  • ‘Beautifully wrought.’ Cathy Rentzenbrink, Stylist
  • ‘Intriguing, one I return to and discover more layers in each time.’ Elizabeth Reapy, Irish Times Books of the Year
  • ‘By turns funny, surreal, modernist, remaining at all times accessible.’ Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times
  • ‘A genuinely original collection, sharp and sparse.’ Mike McCormack, Irish Independent
  • ‘Walsh is a sublimely elegant writer.’ Sarah Ditum, New Statesman
  • ‘Splendidly wry and offbeat . . . both intellectual and aware.’ Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald
  • ‘Indefinable.’ Big Issue North
  • ‘Think Renata Adler’s Speedboat with a faster engine.’ Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times
  • ‘Her stories reveal a psychological landscape lightly spooked by loneliness, jealousy and alienation.’ Heidi Julavits, New York Times
  • ‘Vertigo is a funny, absurd collection of stories.’ Maddie Crum, The Huffington Post
  • ‘Her writing sways between the tense and the absurd.’ Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire
  • ‘A feat of language.’ Kirkus, Starred Review
  • ‘Walsh is an inventive, honest writer.’ Publishers Weekly
  • ‘This collection makes the familiar alien, breaking down and remaking quotidian situations, and in the process turning them into gripping literature.’ Vol. 1 Brooklyn
  • ‘Moments of blazing perspicacity, creativity, intelligence, and dark humour are insanely abundant in [Walsh’s] writing.’ Natalie Helberg, Numéro Cinq
  • ‘Vertigo is a writer’s coup, an overthrow of everyday language.’ Darcie Dennigan, The Rumpus

More information

  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 20 February 2017, you would have received a first edition copy of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
  • Read a wonderful interview with Joanna Walsh in the Paris Review.

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