Marisa Silver dazzled and inspired readers with her critically acclaimed The God of War (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist), praised by Richard Russo as a novel of great metaphorical depth and beauty. In this elegant, finely wrought new collection, Alone With You, Silver has created eight indelible stories that mine the complexities of modern relationships and the unexpected ways love manifests itself. Her brilliantly etched characters confront lifes abrupt and unsettling changes with fear, courage, humor, and overwhelming grace.
In the O. Henry Prizewinning story The Visitor, a VA hospital nurses aide contends with a family ghost and discovers the ways in which her own past haunts her. The reticent father in Pond is confronted with a Solomonic choice that pits his love for his daughter against his feelings for her young son. In Night Train to Frankfurt, first published in The New Yorker, a daughter travels to an alternative-medicine clinic in Germany in a gambit to save her mothers life. And in the title story, a woman vacations in Morocco with her family while contemplating a decision that will both ruin and liberate them all.
From Temporary, where a young woman confronts the ephemeral nature of companionship, to Three Girls, in which sisters trapped in a snowstorm recognize the boundaries of childhood, the nuanced voices of Alone With You bear the hallmarks of an instant classic from a writer with unerring talent and imaginative resource. Silver has the extraordinary ability to render her fictional inhabitants instantly relatable, in all their imperfections. Her stories have the singular quality of looking in a mirror. We see at once what is familiar and what is strange. In these stirring narratives, we meet ourselves anew.
Alone With you is a jewel. Actually a cache of many gems, each one complete and powerful in both the feelings that they evoke and the eloquent way in which they unfold. ... this collection of tales is about ordinary, down to earth people, trying to make sense out of life's messiness. We easily identify with them and see ourselves, our own lives played out in the defining moments of their journeys. We ache for them and with them, for their dilemmas, their hardships and their sorrows. Yet even as they falter and stumble, they determinedly move forward with quiet strength and grace, not a whiner in the lot. (Reviewed by BJ Nathan Hegedus).
The Wall Street Journal
Marisa Silver tells eight quietly haunting tales about love, memory and making ends meet.
Los Angeles Times - Ron Carlson
Longing swells each of the eight stories in Alone With You, as Silver investigates 'aloneness' and the dear and inevitable distance between people in loving relationships. These stories stand out because of their high tolerance for complexity, never opting for a single note. The situations here don't settle on the neat broad themes of loss or connection, but there are always surprises, nuances, changes of heart.
O, The Oprah Magazine
[In] Alone With You, Marisa Silver explores the impact of collateral damage, whether sustained in war or life - brisk and keenly observed - Silver's characters manage somehow to emerge as credible realists, unafraid of the rigors of making do. Even in the darkest moments, their stories are illuminating as they find the courage to face who they are.
Short stories to be savored, these are recommended for a wide range of readers.
Starred Review...Silver infuses her characters with a fatalistic resilience that's revealed through tiny, perfect details.
Paula Fox, Newbery Medal-winning novelist and author of Borrowed Finery: A Memoir Alone With You, a collection of wondrous stories by Marisa Silver, will endure. Each story shatters the commonplace with the telling detail that evokes crucial events in human lives. She is a real writer; the breath of life infuses her work.
Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
Marisa Silver's Alone With You is a triumph for the short story. Funny and surprising and unsentimental, the collection finds in dark situations a persuasive hope. Every story is striking both in its emotional complexity, and in the wry clarity with which it's told.
Connie Ogle, miamiherald.com/"Between the Covers" book blog
The stories in Alone With You are portraits of everyday sorrows, but Silver keeps hope alive, even when it's on life support. Her characters often feel powerless, then discover what they can do - Silver makes clear with devastating simplicity, that tendency to change course works to our advantage - and passes it along to her characters with grace and insight as they grapple with change, revelation and the complexities of modern life. These are clear-eyed, unsentimental stories that resound with resilience.
Are you an eeker or a gusher? Do you have to go back and enlarge what you have first written or do you delete and tighten things up?
I love that distinction eeker vs. gusher! I am definitely an eeker. I work slowly and I attempt to work steadily. I try to write a certain number of pages every single day. But I rarely sit down and have any idea of what I'm going to do next. I feel like I'm always in a dark tunnel pawing my way forward, tripping, bashing my head it ain't pretty!
Do you have your stories figured out before you put pen to paper or do you let them work themselves out as you go along?
I never have stories worked out. I usually begin...
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...