Amor and Psycho: Stories

From Vintage Books

From the author of Daughters of the Revolution and The Bostons (winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for fiction) come eleven stories about sex and death, violence and desire, love and madness, set in a vast American landscape that ranges from the largest private residence in Manhattan to the lush rainforests and marijuana farms of northern California.

At once philosophical and compulsively readable, Amor and Psycho dives into our darkest spaces, confronting the absurdity, poetry and brutality of human existence.

“Roberto Bolaño defined high-caliber writing as having "the ability to peer into the darkness, to leap into the void, to know that literature is basically a dangerous undertaking. The ability to sprint along the edge of the precipice: to one side the bottomless abyss and to the other the faces you love." It's not enough to write well, he argued, not enough to write extremely well. The very best write on the edge.

Carolyn Cooke, a Mendocino County writer whose novel "Daughters of the Revolution" was a 2011 Chronicle Top 10 Book of the Year, is Bolaño's kind of writer. She approaches subjects of sex and death, desire and illness, and the borderland between sanity and madness, civilization and the wild with a directness that is both disarming and enthralling.”


About Carolyn

Carolyn Cooke  (MFA, Columbia University, BA, Smith College) is the author of two collections of short fiction and a novel.  Her most recent book, Amor and Psycho, was named one of the ten best books of 2013 byPublishers Weekly.  Her novel, Daughters of the Revolution, was named one of the ten best books of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle and one of the Reviewers' Favorite novels of that year by The New YorkerMagazine. Her debut collection of fiction, The Bostons (Houghton Mifflin), was a winner of the 2002-2004 PEN/ Bingham Award, a finalist for the PEN/L.L. Winship Award, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.

Her fiction has appeared in AGNI, Gargoyle, The Gettysburg Review, The Idaho Review, Mission at Tenth Inter-Arts Journal, New England Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly and in two volumes each of Best American Short Stories and The PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories. Her nonfiction and reviews have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Contemporary Literary Criticism and The Nation. A recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Djerassi Foundation, Macdowell, Ucross Foundation, Virginia Studio Center and the Corporation of Yaddo, she directs the interdisciplinary MFA Programs at CIIS.