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Raised in captivity : fictional nonfiction

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Publication Information

New York : Penguin Press, 2019.


A man flying first class discovers a puma in the lavatory. A new coach of a small-town Oklahoma high school football team installs an offense comprised of only one, very special, play. A man explains to the police why he told the employee of his local bodega that his colleague looked like the lead singer of Depeche Mode, a statement that may or may not have led in some way to a violent crime. A college professor discusses with his friend his difficulties with the new generation of students. An obscure power pop band wrestles with its new-found fame when its song "Blizzard of Summer" becomes an anthem for white supremacists. A couple considers getting a medical procedure that will transfer the pain of childbirth from the woman to her husband. A woman interviews a hit man about killing her husband but is shocked by the method he proposes. A man is recruited to join a secret government research team investigating why reality is mathematically unraveling. A man sees a whale struck by lightning, and knows that everything about his life has to change. A lawyer grapples with the unintended side effects of a veterinarian's rabies vaccination.


  • Raised in captivity
  • Execute again
  • Toxic actuality
  • How can this be the place?
  • The truth about food
  • Every day just comes and goes
  • Blizzard of summer
  • Of course it is
  • Skin
  • The perfect kind of friend
  • Cat person
  • Experience music project
  • Pain is a concept by which we measure our god
  • What about the children
  • (An excerpt from) a life that wasn't mine
  • Not that kind of person
  • Rhinoceros
  • The enemy within
  • The secret
  • Trial and error
  • Tricks aren't illusions
  • Fluke
  • If something is free the product is you
  • Never look at your phone
  • Reality apathy
  • Reasonable apprehension
  • Just asking questions
  • To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die, except that it actually is
  • Tell don't show
  • Slang of ages
  • Slow pop
  • [ ]
  • I get it now
  • The power of other people.
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