The BookBrowse Review

Published September 16, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

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Book Jacket

Stories, Fables, Glimpses
by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
6 Oct 2020
224 pages
Publisher: Delphinium Books
ISBN-13: 9781883285920
Genre: Short Stories/Essays
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With her new dazzling collection of short fiction, Schwartz has propelled herself to the front rank of inventive short story writers such as George Saunders and David Means.

Her characters are indefatigable New Yorkers whose long-established routines are thwarted by a swerve of fate or a mishap or a time warp. A man generously lends his car to his ex-wife and is bewildered when she neglects to return it and keeps making implausible excuses not to bring it back. A neat and orderly clothing store owner is taken in and manipulated by an ailing elderly neighbor who then leaves her all his earthly possessions. A woman who has been left by her husband for a younger woman and forced to visit the couple in order to see her children realizes with a mixture of fascination and elation that her former husband has been physically and psychologically debilitated by his recent marriage to a much younger wife.

The majority of Schwartz's characters reflect her many decades of accumulating wisdom and her sharp and fascinating perspective. Reflecting on the past, one of her characters muses, "Memory is so prone to digression. To sustain a logical or chronological sequence we must keep dragging our minds off their natural course like a cowboy tugging on a calf with a rope around its neck who wants to run off into the fields." With this sort of nuanced thinking, Schwartz's fiction brings new angles of intelligence to day-to day questions.

"A grab bag of realist and experimental stories, each one a treasure...Though the situations are unbelievable, the emotions are not. Wise, wry, and witty—theses stories in all their stylistic variations are perfect." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[M]eticulously crafted... This first-rate collection demonstrates why Schwartz remains an American literary treasure." - Publishers Weekly

Lynne Sharon Schwartz is the author of twenty-three books that include the novels Disturbances in the Field, Leaving Brooklyn, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Rough Strife, a finalist for the National Book Award. She has also published non-fiction, short stories, memoir, essays, and translations. Schwartz is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and translation, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts. She has taught widely in the United States and abroad and currently teaches at the Bennington College Writing Seminars and the Columbia University School of the Arts.

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