Other People's Love Affairs Summary and Reviews

Other People's Love Affairs

Stories

by D. Wystan Owen

Other People's Love Affairs by D. Wystan Owen X
Other People's Love Affairs by D. Wystan Owen
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2018
    224 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

In the classic tradition of fiction by James Joyce, William Trevor, and Elizabeth Strout, these interconnected stories will strike a deep and resounding emotional chord.

In the ten luminous stories of D. Wystan Owen's Other People's Love Affairs, the people of Glass, a picturesque village on the rugged English coast, are haunted by longings and deeply held secrets, captive to pasts that remain as alive as the present. Each story takes us into the lives of characters reaching earnestly and often courageously for connection to the people they have loved. Owen observes their heartbreaks, their small triumphs, and their generous capacity for grace.

A young nurse, reeling from the disappearance of her mother, forges an unlikely friendship with a local vagrant who might know why her mother vanished. A young boy is by turns dazzled and disillusioned by a trip to the circus with a family friend. A widower revisits the cinema where, as a teenager, he and an older woman had secret trysts that both thrilled and baffled him.  A woman is offered fragile, uneasy forgiveness for a cruel act from years ago. And in the title story, a shopkeeper's vision of the woman she loved is upended by the startling revelation of a secret life. Surprising and powerful, these stories mark the debut of a remarkable new talent.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though readers may wish for some light to balance the sadness, his is a lovely work of quiet, heart-wrenching prose." - Publishers Weekly

"Owen's stories are uniformly moving ... while sometimes overly sentimental, this collection shows promise in its darker moments." - Kirkus

"Owen writes exquisite stories that lodge somewhere in my chest and keep detonating - loudly, devastatingly - again and again." - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"D. Wystan Owen has a keen eye for what falls outside the spotlight and what's hidden underneath the surface...Owen is not a trendy writer, but a classic one." - Yiyun Li, author of Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

"D. Wystan Owen's sentences are so breath-catchingly elegant, his paragraphs so honed for gut-punching power and depth, reading him is a full body experience...Think Munro, think Welty, think even, Mansfield—and understand that like the collections by those masters of the short form, this book is strong medicine for a heart-broken world." - Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

"D. Wystan Owen's stories are studies in quiet perfection. They seem simply to go about their business, with no interest at all in breaking your heart, which makes it all the more devastating when they do. They are deep and honest and graceful, and above all unpitying, yet there is an ache at the center of each one." - Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination

"Owen's characters mostly live in a small town and might themselves claim to live small lives but there is nothing small about the stories he creates on their behalves. His beautifully cadenced stentences plumb the depths of their affections, their ambitions, their defeats; he captures their souls and sets them free. A truly dazzling collection." - Margot Livesey, author of Mercury

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Author Information

D. Wystan Owen

D. Wystan Owen holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction and essays have appeared in A Public Space, The American Scholar, Literary Hub, and the Threepenny Review, where he is Deputy Editor. A citizen dually of the United States and the United Kingdom, he now lives in Northern California.

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