Pulse Points : Stories - Jennifer Down

Pulse Points

Stories

By: Jennifer Down

eBook | 31 July 2017 | Edition Number 1

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'With precise and beautiful prose, the short stories in Jennifer Down's Pulse Points carry an emotional clarity and intensity that is truly impressive.' Books+Publishing

The characters in Jennifer Down's Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators.

In the award-winning 'Aokigahara', a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye. In 'Coarsegold', a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere. In 'Dogs', Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat. In 'Pressure Okay' a middle-aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter.

Jennifer Down, whose first novel, Our Magic Hour, was commended in the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award, is a masterful stylist whose sharp eye has been compared to that of Helen Garner. Pulse Points is a gutting collection that showcases her singular voice, and reminds us once more that this is a writer of great talent.

Jennifer Down was born in 1990. Our Magic Hour was highly commended in the Victorian Premier's Literary Award. Her writing has appeared in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday Paper, Australian Book Review, Kill Your Darlings, Lifted Brow, Best Australian Stories and Blue Mesa Review. She is one of Sydney Morning Herald's Young Novelists of the Year, 2017.

'Jennifer Down is a subtly extraordinary writer, and Pulse Points is one of the best Australian literary offerings we'll see this year.' Good Reading

'Pulse Points is fluid, graceful and shocking. Down serves life up ruthlessly to us, in small, heart-wrenching packages, overturning expectations swiftly from story to story, but leaving us faintly uplifted in the end.' Overland

'This is a finely crafted collection that reminds us how sad and beautiful it is simply to be alive. Down's debut novel, Our Magic Hour, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Award for New Writing and she was named a 2017 SMH Best Young Australian Novelist. It's probably insulting to comment upon how young she is, but the emotional depth of her writing displays a gift that will no doubt continue to unfold as her body of work grows.' Saturday Paper

'Taking the reader from Melbourne to the USA, each beautifully crafted story is a fascinating escape into someone else's life.' Sunday Life

'Down is exemplary at drawing whole characters and quickly giving them depth. Stories are heavy with atmosphere, and words are chosen with care...She has a knack of talking honestly about the nature of contemporary life, and I look forward to more.' Sydney Morning Herald

'Pulse Points is an impressively poised and even collection...Down's stories are alive with psychological acuity and technical dexterity. They offer thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking, insights into our anxieties and desires...Readers of her intelligent, subtle, and affecting prose clearly have much to look forward to.' Australian Book Review

'[Down's] back with a collection of stories, cementing her status as one of Australia's finest literary talents.' Marie Claire

'Jennifer Down is going to be a major part of the future of Australian literature. The quality of her writing, as well as her ability to tap into the loves, fears and anxieties many of us experience guarantee this.' Readings

'All of the stories in this collection are examples of the extent to which empathy can be employed in fiction—Down looks at human emotion under a microscope in each of these stories, but always does so with care and compassion.' Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2018, Judges' comments

'This young Australian writer was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists of 2017. Here she shows off her impressive skill as a short story writer...Jennifer Down shows great insight into human vulnerability.' Good Reading, Best Fiction Books of 2017

'Jennifer Down's Pulse Points is full of perfectly crafted miracles of storytelling.' Kill Your Darlings, Best of 2017

'The stories are both paradigms and gentle subversions of the short-story form...Down draws on the ordinary and everyday to deconstruct the myth of class mobility in this haunting and resonant collection.' Judges' comments, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists

'Down writes about love and friendship with an emotionally resonant sparseness...Rather than offering answers to life's big questions, the stories offer glimpses into people tackling them...A collection pulsing with emotion; a writer crackling with potential.' Kirkus Reviews

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