The Entire Predicament

Stories | Tin House 2007 | ISBN 978-0-97769-898-1

In this refreshing, funny, and startling collection of stories, Lucy Corin veers far from the path of staid contemporary fiction. She masterfully weaves traditional and experimental topics and techniques, creating a fictional world where people behave normally in the most extreme situations, and in bizarrely with almost no provocation at all. But thanks to her vivid, sharp prose and insightful first-person voices, even the oddest behavior is utterly believable. Unpredictable and playful, these stories transcend their apocalyptic feel to offer a vision that is clear, humane, and completely engaging. The Entire Predicament secures Corin’s reputation as an original, stylistically courageous voice in contemporary avant-garde fiction.

The Entire Predicament jolted me into an entirely fresh way of seeing the familiar. Imagine suddenly seeing in ultraviolet. Corin takes such pedestrian nouns as airplane, dentist, mouse, and supermarket checkout machine and drills cleanly through their superficial normalcy to reveal the luminous, undulant strangeness inside “everyday reality.” I want to read every word she’s written.
Karen Russell


Sometimes quirkily funny, sometimes shading into menace or serious derangement, The Entire Predicament zigzags its way over the walls we tend to build between the serious, the absurd, the humorous, the off-kilter, and the mad.
Brian Evenson

Pure sleight of hand. How is it done? Come closer, I’ll tell you. She closes her eyes and watches the movies playing 24-7 inside the lids.
Susan Reynolds

LA Times

The Entire Predicament is fiercely strange and written with keen control. You don’t read these stories: you undergo them. They are an event that is lived, not an object that is scanned. Language here is a tangible sensation; Corin’s words have weight, temperature, odor, texture, bite. Vision and noise invade you. You become anxious. Then you may find yourself pinching your nose, squeezing your eyes, so as not to let this world escape your body.
Micaela Morrissette

Rain Taxi

These short stories are as smart as pinpricks, magic tricks. They go off like a string of firecrackers.
Kelly Link