In this provocative and haunting collection of short stories, edited by two masters of the form, a diverse group of contemporary writers probes the nature and connection between two of the most powerful, exhilarating, and terrifying forces that define and shape the human experience.
“What else is there?”—Alice Munro, on why so much of her work deals with the twin themes of sex and death.
The drive for life—for survival and reproduction—and the drive for death—for violence and self-destruction—are the two dominant, instinctive urges of human behavior. These conflicting compulsions, characterized by Freud as Eros and Thanatos, are also the central themes of great literature. In Sex and Death, some of today’s most compelling writers from around the globe—Kevin Barry, Lynn Coady, Ceridwen Dovey, Robert Drewe, Damon Galgut, Petina Gappah, Sarah Hall, Peter Hobbs, Yiyun Li, Alexander MacLeod, Ben Marcus, Jon McGregor, Guadalupe Nettel, Courttia Newland, Taiye Selasi, Ali Smith, Wells Tower, Claire Vaye Watkins, Alan Warner, Clare Wigfall—explore these challenging themes with honesty, psychological acuity, brutality, tenderness, and empathy, in stories that are disquieting, illuminating, funny, and utterly dazzling.