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Half in Love: Storiesby Maile Meloy
Synopses & Reviews
Maile Meloy's smart, surprising and emotional stories, published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Best New American Voices, have already earned her devoted admirers. Lean and controlled in their narration, abundant and moving in their effects, the fourteen stories collected in Half in Love are the debut of a striking new talent.
Ten of the stories take place in the modern American West, and in Meloy's unsentimental vision this world becomes vivid and unexpected. In her story "Tome," the disabled client of a Montana lawyer takes a Samoan football player hostage. In "Four Lean Hounds, ca. 1976," two young couples, bound by a complicated friendship, face a complicated grief when one of the four dies. The college-bound daughter of a ranch foreman, in "Ranch Girl," has to choose which adult world she wants to occupy. And in "A Stakes Horse," a young woman deals with risk and loss, both at the racetrack and at home. In small towns and in isolated country, these characters face violence and dread and betrayal, love and loss of love and the ease with which life can be disrupted — all rendered in Meloy's clear, assured style.
Other stories in the collection take us to different times and places with the same remarkable skill and intuition. In "Red," a young American soldier in World War II encounters an English girl exhausted by the Blitz. Guests in a Greek villa, looking for gossip in "Last of the White Slaves," find a more disconcerting story than they wanted. And in "Aqua Boulevard" — winner of the 2001 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction — an elderly Parisian confronts his fear of death. Meloy's command of her characters' voices is breathtaking; their fears and desires are deftly illuminated.
Meloy's characters inevitably stand on the edge of something — of discovery or decision or change — and Meloy delivers these moments with a stirring combination of authority and sympathy. This is a voice of astonishing clarity and unforgettable emotional power.
"Glowing high-plains tales..." Elle
"She never falters in her craft....Meloy is a writer not of promise, but with a fully realized gift." San Francisco Chronicle
"A sparkling debut collection of tight, watchful stories....By the end, the power of storytelling has made itself felt." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Minimalist without being enigmatic, talented newcomer Meloy packs a lot into a small space....Impressive debut by a young author previously published in the New Yorker and the Paris Review." Kirkus Reviews
"This beautifully written debut story collection is a clear eyed portrayal of family relationships on the brink of change." Harper's Bazaar
Lean and controlled in their narration, abundant and moving in their effects, Maile Meloy's stories introduce a striking talent. Most are set in the modern American West, made vivid and unexpected in Meloy's unsentimental vision; others take us to Paris, wartime London, and Greece, with the same remarkable skill and intuition.
In "Four Lean Hounds, ca. 1976," two couples face a complicated grief when one of the four dies. In "Ranch Girl," the college-bound daughter of a ranch foreman must choose which adult world she wants to occupy. In "A Stakes Horse," a woman confronts risk and loss at the racetrack and at home. And in "Aqua Boulevard" — winner of the 2001 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction — an elderly Parisian confronts his mortality. Meloy's command of her characters' voices is breathtaking; their fears and desires are deftly illuminated. Smart, surprising, and evocative, Meloy's brilliantly observed stories fully engage the mind and heart.
"Half in Love" is the widely acclaimed story collection that inspired "The New York Times" to rave, "A sparkling debut. . . . Here is an author who knows how to jump-start the reader's interest, " and the "Chicago Tribune" to name Maile Meloy "a truly compelling discovery."
About the Author
Maile Meloy was born in Helena, Montana. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Ontario Review, and Best New American Voices. She lives in California.
Table of Contents
Four Lean Hounds, ca. 1976
Kite Whistler Aquamarine
Last of the White Slaves
Thirteen and a Half
The Ice Harvester
A Stakes Horse
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