Maggie Brown & Others: Book summary and reviews of Maggie Brown & Others by Peter Orner

Maggie Brown & Others

by Peter Orner

Maggie Brown & Others by Peter Orner X
Maggie Brown & Others by Peter Orner
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2019
    336 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

In this powerful and virtuosic collection of interlocking stories, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist takes the form to new heights.

In his orchestral and moving new book, Peter Orner, a writer who "doesn't simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls" (New York Times Book Review), chronicles people whose lives are at inflection points. In forty-four compressed gems, he grips us with a series of defining moments. Whether it's a first date that turns into a late-night road trip to a séance in an abandoned airplane hangar, or a family's memories of the painful mystery surrounding a forgotten uncle's demise, Orner reveals how our fleeting decisions between kindness and abandonment chase us across time. These stories are anchored by a poignant novella that delivers not only the joys and travails of a forty-year marriage, but an entire era in a working-class New England city. Bristling with the crackling energy of life itself, Maggie Brown & Others marks the most sustained achievement to date for "a master of his form" (New York Times).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Insightful, rueful, and often humorous, this collection holds a mirror to contemporary life and gives the reader much to reflect on." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Readers will sympathize with Orner's characters and identify with their all-too-human frailties." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"It's unusual for a writer of such great detail and originality to still have so much heart on his sleeve. I didn't realize how I'd missed actual feeling in our celebrated younger writers until I fell onto Peter Orner and these sublime new stories. I may not go back." - Thomas McGuane, author of Gallatin Canyon

"Peter Orner is an extraordinary writer, and Maggie Brown & Others was a deep pleasure to read. His stories teem with life and energy, and unfold with a kind of soulful grace he has made all his own." - Adam Haslett, author of Imagine Me Gone

"No one captures the inner lives of vanished places and people like Peter Orner. Radiant, funny, full of wisdom and heart, his vibrant portraits pulse with authentic energy and are as perfectly tuned to his characters' idiosyncratic speech as those of Grace Paley." - Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever

"To read Peter Orner's stories is to live simultaneously in so many lives: the reader's memories intertwine with the characters', the characters' dreams resurface in the reader's. People we have loved and lost, people we have encountered and missed -- they wait for us to rediscover them in Orner's stories. This book, exquisitely written, is as necessary and expansive as life." - Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End

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Author Information

Peter Orner

Peter Orner, a two-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, is the author of five previous books, including the novel Love and Shame and Love and the collection Esther Stories, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Tin House, and Granta, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. The winner of the Rome Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Orner teaches at Dartmouth College.

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