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Who Do You Love: Stories
Synopses & Reviews
Jean Thompson is a short-fiction writer of rare integrity and insight into the bruised lives of Americans, the emotional complexities of love, and the resiliency of the human spirit.
The fifteen stories in this splendid collection-three never before published-illuminate real and imagined human needs and, in doing so, tell us something new about ourselves. A young woman has an epiphany, walking along the snow-drifted shoulder of a monotonous highway in the Midwest. The quiet rhythm of a suburban neighborhood is disrupted by peculiar activity at the local firehouse. A city cop on the graveyard shift internalizes the desperation of those he encounters night after night. And the formidable vastness of the Pacific Ocean humbles an urban junkie and his girlfriend in search of salvation. In precise and unsparing prose, Thompson dispels the comfort of taking life — and love — for granted, begging the very question of identity. Who are you? Who do you love?
"In less-skilled hands, these short narratives might seem grim and the characters hopelessly downtrodden, but Thompson...is smart enough to infuse even the saddest situation with a wry glimmer of hope." Publishers Weekly
"In just a few pages Thompson insinuates us into her characters' lives and makes us care about them." Booklist
"Whatever it is — that ineffable ghost in the machine that separates good fiction from the merely accomplished — Jean Thompson's got it." Jay McInerney, The Village Voice
"Thompson is a real writer to watch." The New York Times Book Review
Table of Contents
Who we love. All shall love me and despair — The little heart — Mercy — Heart of gold — Who do you love — Other lives. Fire dreams — The widower — Mother nature — Ice angels — The Amish — Spirits. Antarctica — The lost child — The rich man's house — Poor Helen — Forever.
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