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Distributed for Seagull Books


Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt’s most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes first aired in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and atomizing world—with stories set in India, Sweden, Australia, and Iran—that also looks at how we meet and fail to meet and what connects us to one another, as well as waste and communication, and, in turn, communication through waste.

The twenty-six stories begin with Paddy and Agatha, an English couple last seen in Litt’s Ghost Story. Following the stillbirth of their second child, their marriage has gently begun to collapse. Paddy and Agatha both meet someone else. First, Paddy meets Kavita, and Agatha meets John. Then each of these four engages with a different new person—and so on, through a doubling and redoubling of intimately interconnected stories. The remaining short stories exemplify Litt’s impressive, unflinching prose. 

274 pages | 10 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2014


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“Litt has a streak of playfulness in him. . . . His narratives freely venture into unexpected forms, from cartoons to a screenplay to a Twitter feed. But the subject is the age-old one of connection.”

Wall Street Journal

“Quite an important addition. . .”


“Litt’s writing is comic with a deadpan delivery, and sometimes shockingly observant. . . . Enormously clever.”


“An essential purchase for short story fans but an equally essential purchase for anyone who likes great fiction. Litt is on top form.”


“The book reads like primitive magic. . . . Litt’s is the exquisite imagination that is first about the infamy of forgetting and then its corroding detachment.”

3:AM Magazine

Table of Contents

Ghost Story

Paddy and Kavita

Agatha and John

Paddy and Veronika

Kavita and Dr Mehrotra

John and John

Agatha and May

Paddy and Henry

Veronika and Alice

Kavita and Loke

John and Joseph

John and Yaminah

Amanyana and Bloodkill

Agatha and Max

Paddy and Agatha

Henry and Anyone

Veronika and Roger-Roger

Alice and Rik

Kavita and Loke

Loke and Barbie

Joseph and Emmanuel

John and Agatha

Yaminah and Yahya

John and Ophélia

May and Jesus

Max and Dylan

Agatha and Paddy

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