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Instruction Manual for Swallowing

Authors: Adam Marek

Published by Comma Press

ISBN: 9781905583041

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Winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship in Short Story Writing.
Shortlisted for the 2010 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.
Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize.

Robotic insects, in-growing cutlery, flesh-serving waiters in a zombie cafe... Welcome to the surreal, misshapen universe of Adam Marek’s first collection; a bestiary of hybrids from the techno-crazed future and mythical past; a users’ guide to the seemingly obvious (and the world of illogic implicit within it). Whether fantastical or everyday in setting, Marek’s stories lead us down to the engine room just beneath modern consciousness, a place of both atavism and familiarity, where the body is fluid, the spirit mechanised, and beasts often tell us more about our humanity than anything we can teach ourselves.

"Adam Marek writes tales of the fantastic, the grotesque, and the impossible – all set in familiar, even mundane worlds. The effect may be unnerving or moving or hilarious, but always there is the gripping sense of an idea gestating to a point just short of revelation. Underpinning Marek’s fantasies there is a nagging psychological realism. In this debut collection, the English short story receives an injection of something new and compelling and spooky."
Alex Linklater, founder of the National Short Story Prize

"Marek’s fabulously meaty, funny writing makes the short story look really exciting again, pulling you, frame by frame, into a bright, strange future."
Maggie Gee

"There's a transgressive thrill to Adam Marek's debut collection of short stories that's not simply a result of the potency of the subject matter... delightful."
The Guardian

"Early McEwan meets David Cronenberg... genuine, unsettling talent."
The Independent

Adam Marek was born in 1974. His stories have appeared in Prospect magazine, New Writing 15 edited by Maggie Gee and Bernardine Evaristo, The Bridport Prize Anthology (2003 and 2005), Parenthesis, The New Uncanny, When It Changed edited by Geoff Ryman, and online at Pulp.net. In 2007, his story 'Testicular Cancer vs the Behemoth' was performed by Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Dirt) at the WordTheatre event in London. He lives in Bedfordshire.
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