book cover of You Would Have Told Me Not To
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You Would Have Told Me Not To

(2020)
A collection of stories by

 
 
A “gripping, beautiful, emotionally raw” collection of stories about the things that go wrong between men and women from a PEN Award winner.
 
Arriving in the midst of the #MeToo era, these stories examine the fallout from failed relationships between men and women—partnerships that have crumbled under the weight of betrayal, misplaced hopes, illness, and particularly masculinity at its most toxic and misguided.
 
A man in his mid-thirties receives a call from a woman he barely knows, who informs him that a girl he bedded and dumped in high school has died of cancer. A man who had an affair and left the woman without any warning finds himself working on a demolition job with a younger man who might be their son. Yet another man, obese for years, is left by his wife, loses weight, and drunk with the power of finally being fit, tries to reconnect with his former spouse—to disastrous ends. And in the title story, 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, head-on, the worst mistakes of our younger selves?
 
“One of our best American short story writers, on par with Tobias Wolff and Andre Dubus.” —Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
 
“Engaging . . . rich prose and sharp dialogue.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The stories in You Would Have Told Me Not To read like miniature thrillers . . . expertly suspenseful, emotionally powerful, and delightfully dark. The last one, in particular, punched me in the heart.” —Kristin Roupenian, author of You Know You Want This: “Cat Person" and Other Stories

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"Sometimes when you're reading these stories, you forget to breathe... They're beautifully written, and they have a bottom, but they're never dull and they all contain striking and dramatic narrative ideas." - Nick Hornby

"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." - Kristen Roupenian

"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

"What a balm to again immerse myself in the short(ish) fiction of Christopher Coake, easily among the form's contemporary virtuosos. Coake's grim, expansive, elegant, and always surprising stories (and one novella) grapple with the aftershocks of careless mistakes and unforgivable transgressions. A singular collection by a writer in top form." - Claire Vaye Watkins

"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


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Used availability for Christopher Coake's You Would Have Told Me Not To

Hardback Editions

July 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: You Would Have Told Me Not To: Stories
Author(s): Christopher Coake
ISBN: 1-883285-90-9 / 978-1-883285-90-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Delphinium
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

July 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: You Would Have Told Me Not To: Stories
Author(s): Christopher Coake
Publisher: Delphinium Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU