Two's company, three's a crowd--and sometimes it's more than that.
In The Third Person, a series of uncanny and humorous short stories by Emily Anglin, what we do for a living is put under the microscope. Anglin shows us that our defined roles a far from what we've been told they are: employees dissolve from their job titles, neighbours overstep comfortable boundaries, employers seek professional deification. Anglin creates micro-worlds whose social mores are interrupted by a startling and disorienting gap between a defining word and its lived reality.
In the stories: a transcriptionist receives uninvited help deciphering a critical sentence from 19th century letter; a technical writer is invited by her detail-oriented boss to a professional conference; an events and communications officer is sent to live in a mansion in an empty small town; a counselor helps a woman with an obsession for seeing.
When a third person enters each of the stories, "the triangulation of desire" begins to form. By showing a three-part encounter featuring yearning that's suppressed or blocked by impediments&mdash:professional, social, practical, economic, romantic, and otherwise--Anglin's off-beat and sometimes surreal stories will drive readers to contemplate the distances between people and the difficulty of really knowing each other.
Praise for The Third Person:
"Emily Anglin is a master of evasion and inference, a connoisseur of every kind of secret. Each story in this remarkable collection is alive with casually blistering intelligence tempered with compassion for human loneliness. This is a dispatch from the heart of modern incongruity, in which corporate jargon crosses over into poetry, then crosses back, in which lives are upended on a whim. Reading this book is like walking into an apparently familiar room and having all the details add up to something unsettling and new." --Kate Cayley, author of How You Were Born
"Prepare yourself for "spontaneous empathy" and "foreign body sensations," for specters, knowledge brokers, and an oddball cast of characters who feel, at once, both familiar and strange. Reading Emily Anglin's The Third Person is like watching the opening sequence of Hitchcock's Rear Window. As a character in one of the stories tells us, everyone has "public, private and secret lives." Anglin gives us access to all of these lives--offering a unique perspective that combines both the intimacy of the first person and the sweeping distance of the third." --Johanna Skibsrud, author of The Sentimentalists and Quartet for the End of Time