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book cover of 

Severance

Severance

(2006)
A collection of stories by

 
The human head is believed to remain in a state of consciousness for one and one-half minutes after decapitation. In a heightened state of emotion, people speak at the rate of 160 words per minute. Inspired by the intersection of these two seemingly unrelated concepts, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler wrote sixty-two stories, each exactly 240 words in length, capturing the flow of thoughts and feelings that go through a person's mind after their head has been severed. The characters are both real and imagined--Medusa (beheaded by Perseus, 2000 BC), Anne Boleyn (beheaded at the behest of Henry VIII, 1536), a chicken (beheaded for Sunday dinner, Alabama, 1958), and the author (decapitated, on the job, 2008). Told with the intensity of a poet and the wit of a great storyteller, these final thoughts illuminate and crystallize more about the characters' own lives and the worlds they inhabit than many writers manage to convey in full-length biographies or novels. The stories, which have appeared in literary magazines across the country, are a delightful and intriguing creative feat from one of today's most inventive writers.

 
Used availability for Robert Olen Butler's Severance


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

August 2006 : USA Hardback
Title: Severance: Stories
Author(s): Robert Olen Butler
ISBN: 0-8118-5614-3 / 978-0-8118-5614-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

April 2008 : USA Paperback
Title: Severance: Stories
Author(s): Robert Olen Butler
ISBN: 0-8118-6098-1 / 978-0-8118-6098-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

May 2015 : UK Kindle edition
Title: Severance: What goes through a person's mind before they are beheaded?
Author(s): Robert Olen Butler
Publisher: No Exit Press
Availability: Amazon UK   


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