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My Date With Neanderthal Woman Paperback – December 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Dzanc Books (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936873052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936873050
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,827,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the first Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, Galef (Flesh) presents 33 stories that often test the limits of macabre humor and explore relationships with near-flawless timing. Though familiar conflicts and character types recur--including outsiders braving the rural south and academics in search of meaningful pursuits--Galef enlivens them with original twists. Noteworthy selections include "The Perfect Couple," the story of a morbid partnership cemented by a spirit of one-upmanship in terms of "who [suffers] more and how;" "Breakfast of Champions," featuring a young narrator who watches his father's attempt to remake himself in widowhood; "Natasha," a clever portrait of industriousness and the aftermath of a biting remark; and "Accommodations," a moving, if sometimes cruel, account of parenting in mid-life and marital stasis. A handful of stories venture into the outlandish with slightly less depth, broaching topics such as a slave-owning woman and the titular date with a Neanderthal woman. Galef's talent thrives in the more realistic, domestic scenarios, many of which expose unsettling flaws in men and women that are both funny and sympathetic, but the wilder stories still entertain. Highly recommended for flash fiction enthusiasts. (Nov.)

More About the Author

David Galef was born in the Bronx in 1959 and started writing shortly thereafter. He's a fiction writer, critic, poet, translator, and essayist because he can't seem to make up his mind what to specialize in. A shameless eclectic, he has published over a dozen books, including the novels Flesh and How to Cope with Suburban Stress, a Book Sense choice and one of Kirkus's Best Books of 2006. His latest is the short story collection My Date with Neanderthal Woman, which is at least as funny as its title. His day job is professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Montclair State University.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Galef carries us calmly and smoothly to prehistorical times and we're nicely cradled along the breeze of his words. And the most impressive is that modern times live peacefully with prehistorical times - side by side. Amusing stories. I recommend.
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Format: Paperback
"In "My Date with Neanderthal Woman," winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, David Galef strikes a delicate balance between fantasy and reality. His plots and circumstances are quirky and unreal, but somehow grounded in reality. This book feels like a contemporary piece of literary fiction, even though some plot twists are straight out of sci-fi.

For example, in the title story, a narrator named Robert gets a referral from the TransWorld Dating Agency that is vastly different than any match made on eHarmony. Yet, in spite of the unusual nature of this date, the story still has a foot in the real world. In the same way, "Mistress Morpheus" also touches on the fantastic while being rooted in understandable human emotions.

Several stories are set on college campuses and the fantastic elements reflect the exasperated frustrations of unpaid, overworked professors. In "An Academic Proposition," Professor Twistle casually mentions how students can earn an easy A, should their morals be so lacking. While few teachers would ever admit having such a thought, we can suppose that most professors have, at one point or another, had some similarly ridiculous notion. The story has an borderline absurdist plot, but one that has real, human foundations.

Scattered throughout the text are Galef's trademark humor and eye for detail. "My Date with Neanderthal Woman" is quirky and slightly skewed towards the fantastic. And it's entirely fun and worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
David Galef is one of the more inventive short story writers of our era. From laugh-out-loud situations to others than can make you squirm and even, at times, cringe, every story delivers. The wide array of fiction here is a pleasure to read.
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