With Pure Hollywood, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Christine Schutt returns to the short story form that launched her acclaimed career.
In tales of rare wit, Pure Hollywood brings us into private worlds of longing and danger. An alcoholic actress takes her children to live in ‘a rusted box on stilts’ in the desert. In an exclusive island resort, a young family’s holiday has terrible consequences. A newly-wed couple who, while still ‘newly everything’, fall in with a misanthropic painter burned by love. ‘On the beach, they agreed, their daydreaming was sometimes dangerous.’
Schutt’s sharply suspenseful and masterfully dark interior portraits of ordinary lives are shot through with surprise and, as Ottessa Moshfegh has it, ‘exquisitely weird writing’.Read an Excerpt
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- Watch Christine Schutt talk to Paris Review about writing her first short stories.
‘The stories in this collection evade easy capture – but in reading, isn’t the pursuit part of the pleasure? Schutt’s style – in which words crash together musically, the focus shifts and dialogue seems to take even the characters by surprise – means that the qualities come out best on a slow rereading.’
‘Her sentences never waste a phrase or even a word.’
'Christine Schutt is one of my shining lighthouses. I love her work with passion. Please read her new book, Pure Hollywood.'
New York Times Book Review
‘Shot through with Woolf’s lyrical, restless spirit.’
Los Angeles Times
‘With terse sentences that read like poetry, Schutt strips each scene of excess context and cuts to the heart of the moment . . . Schutt’s haunting yet lyrical words linger long after the final page.’
Claire Vaye Watkins
‘Christine Schutt is already easily among the liveliest stylists of our time, and these eleven stories prove we ain’t seen nothing yet. Each is a wonder, pickled in her crystalline idiom and cured under her brutal, astonishing wit.’
‘Pure Hollywood is pure gold. In tales of rare wit and verve, Christine Schutt leads us into the lives of her perfectly drawn characters--couples young and old, children, skinny men, charming women--and dances on masterful prose through gardens, alcohol (often too much), luxurious homes, and resort vacation spots. Come for the art of her exquisitely weird writing and stay for the human drama. I loved each story--the quick flashes as well as the longer stories. Each one damaged my composure as a reader and fascinated me as a writer. Bravo!’
‘Christine Schutt continues to write some of the most original and rewarding prose I’ve ever read.’
‘Pared down but rich, dense, fevered, exactly right and eerily beautiful’
‘A truly gifted writer.’
‘Nobody writes like Schutt, and her latest collection is the perfect entry point for readers new to her work.’
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
‘The collection maintains a dark wit that keeps it buoyant . . . Schutt offers surprising reminders of the ghastly and gruesome that are never too far away . . . Intimate portrayals of darkness told in Schutt's tight and affecting prose.’