You Would Have Told Me Not To: Stories (Paperback)

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Description


These stories (and one novella) arrive in the midst of the #Metoo movement. They examine the fallout from failed relationships between men and women, relationships that have crumbled under the weight of betrayal, misplaced hopes, illness—and in particular, from masculinity at its most toxic and misguided. A man in his mid-thirties receives a call from a woman he barely knew who informs him that a girl he bedded and dumped in high school has died of cancer. Another man who had an affair and left a woman without any warning finds himself working on a demolition job with a younger man who might be their son. Another man, obese for years, is left by his wife, loses weight and, drunk with the power of being finally fit, disastrously tries to reconnect with his former spouse. And in the title story of the collection, a woman summoned to the bedside of her son who has suffered a gunshot wound must finally come to terms with the serial infidelities of her charming ex-husband. These fictions ask very contemporary questions: how do ex-spouses learn to live again in proximity to one another; how do we make peace with our bodies and their own worst impulses; how do we learn to turn and face, full-on, the worst mistakes of our younger selves? 

About the Author


Christopher Coake is the author of the novel You Came Back (2012) and the story collection We’re in Trouble (2005), which won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for a first work of fiction. His new collection, You Would Have Told Me Not To, will be published in 2020 by Delphinium. In 2007 he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. His short fiction has been anthologized in collections such as Best American Mystery Stories 2004; The Best American Noir of the Century; and Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories; and has been published in numerous literary journals. A native of Indiana, Coake received his MFA in fiction from the Ohio State University. He is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. He lives in Reno with his wife, Stephanie Lauer, and their two dogs.

Praise For…


"The stories in You Would Have Told Me Not To read like miniature thrillers, even when they stay firmly within the realm of the everyday. They are expertly suspenseful, emotionally powerful, and delightfully dark. The last one, in particular, punched me in the heart. I loved this book."
— Kristin Roupenian, author of You Know You Want This: “Cat Person" and Other Stories

"Engaging. . .rich prose and sharp dialogue. With humor and heft, Coake hammers home the ways the past can boomerang to change the present."
Publishers Weekly

"Even sharp stories that dwell on relationships both good and bad…tensions that grow increasingly complex. . . Coake can make simple conflicts sing."

Kirkus Reviews

"You Would Have Told Me Not To is populated with people so real, I found myself smiling at their triumphs, laughing at their jokes, and wishing I could intervene when they inevitably screwed up. It’s the type of book that stays with you long after you put it down."
— Shari Goldhagen, author of In Some Other World, Maybe

"You Would Have Told Me Not To proves that there's no such thing as nothing left to lose. Men and women at the ends of their ropes rekindle romances, become grandparents, make amends, and find—or fail to find—redemption in seven stories both exquisitely written and deeply felt. These devastating, beguiling stories are must-reads for fans of Charles D'Ambrosio or Stuart Dybek."
— David James Poissant, author of Lake Life

"I've been waiting for years for a new collection by Christopher Coake, and the stories and novella in You Would Have Told Me Not To more than deliver. Dark and funny, urgent and unsettling, these  beautiful stories manage to feel both completely of the moment and utterly timeless. This book gutted me. A masterful new book by a writer at the top of his game."
— Molly Antopol, author of The Un-Americans

"It's been fifteen years since we've had a new collection from Christopher Coake, who I consider one of our best American short story writers, on par with Tobias Wolff and Andre Dubus. What a wonderful gift to have this gripping, beautiful, emotionally raw new work."

— Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will

“With the craft of Cheever and the heart of Chekov, Christopher Coake’s You Would Have Told Me Not To deftly explores and deconstructs masculinity, and reminds us why he is a master of the form. A rare feat: a book of the moment, and for the ages.”
— Nick White, author of Sweet and Low

"You Would Have Told Me Not To is populated with people so real, I found myself smiling at their triumphs, laughing at their jokes, and wishing I could intervene when they inevitably screwed up. It’s the type of book that stays with you long after you put it down."
— Shari Goldhagen, author of In Some Other World, Maybe

"Only Christopher Coake could have shown us so clearly the true range of the human heart, and infused these tales—centered on the relationships that both define and destroy us—with such yearning and dread. The stories collected here are contemporary and urgent and are classics of the form."
— David Treuer, author of Rez Life, An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life


Product Details
ISBN: 9781953002020
ISBN-10: 1953002021
Publisher: Delphinium
Publication Date: July 27th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English