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Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories

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Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9781400044597
ISBN10: 1400044596
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

This collection of new and classic short stories shows why Wolff is one of today's preeminent storytellers. He's already a fixture in modern American literature textbooks — but Wolff's writing is too sharp, too alive, too urgent to be confined solely to school assignments.
Recommended by Rico, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Those who have read Wolff's memoir This Boy's Life...or his novel Old School may find some echoes in these stories, but overall the short fiction is more venturous and spirited. Wolff consistently finds ways to slip beyond the unfolding of events in a narrative sense, making his stories something of a chrysalis from which emerges something non-narrative — call it heart." Art Winslow, The Chicago Tribune (read the entire Chicago Tribune review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"One of our most exquisite storytellers" (Esquire) gives us his first collection in over a decade: ten potent new stories that, along with twenty-one classics, display his mastery over a quarter century.

Tobias Wolff's first two books, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs and Back in the World, were a powerful demonstration of how the short story can "provoke our amazed appreciation," as The New York Times Book Review wrote then. In the years since, he's written a third collection, The Night in Question, as well as a pair of genre-defining memoirs (This Boy's Life and In Pharaoh's Army), the novella The Barracks Thief, and, most recently, a novel, Old School.

Now he returns with fresh revelations — about biding one's time, or experiencing first love, or burying one's mother — that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired Marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who's picked his pocket. In these stories, as with his earlier, much-anthologized work, he once again proves himself, according to the Los Angeles Times, "a writer of the highest order: part storyteller, part philosopher, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve."

Review:

"Richard Yates, Raymond Carver and Robert Stone are the modern masters whom Wolff most resembles. Like their best work, his own exhibits classic richness and depth, and it's built to last." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Wolff dexterously probes, in immaculately clear prose, the cor eof ordinary peoples' passions and vulnerabilities." Booklist

Review:

"Wolff's voice is unfailingly authentic, while his embrace of the variety of American experience is knowing, forgiving and all-encompassing." New York Times

Review:

"This collection of new and selected stories...amounts to a master class in the genre....Wolff juggles style and content with seeming effortlessness, but the truth is that he is a disciplined craftsman with a hard-earned understanding of the two worlds, real and imagined, he inhabits." Miami Herald

Review:

"These stories remind how powerful and important are good stories, especially ones that look right into our furtive, yearning hearts and refuse to blink." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Wolff's deceptively simple prose style is like listening to an old friend eagerly telling the previous night's adventures." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"Our Story may be the summation of Wolff's story-writing career to date, but as its title suggests, he clearly has more tales to tell, and thankfully for his readers, the undiminished storytelling gifts with which to tell them." Rocky Mountain News

About the Author

Tobias Wolff is the author of seven previous books and the editor of The Vintage Book of American Short Stories. Among his honors are the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award, both for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. He lives in Northern California and teaches at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

A Note from the Author

SELECTED STORIES

In the Garden of the North American Martyrs

Next Door

Hunters in the Snow

The Liar

Soldiers Joy

The Rich Brother

Leviathan

Desert Breakdown, 1968

Say Yes

Mortals

Flyboys

Sanity

The Other Miller

Two Boys and a Girl

The Chain

Smorgasbord

Ladys Dream

Powder

The Night in Question

Firelight

Bullet in the Brain

NEW STORIES

That Room

Awaiting Orders

A White Bible

Her Dog

A Mature Student

The Deposition

Down to Bone

Nightingale

The Benefit of the Doubt

Deep Kiss

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

amabre, June 27, 2009 (view all comments by amabre)
Tobias Wolff is so real and so honest; he doesn't exploit his characters and he doesn't idealize them either. They're just as flawed as the rest of us which makes them very easy to relate to. They're ordinary people who stumble upon circumstances that fill them with regret, nostalgia, wonder, and grief. A myriad of absorbing faces, personalites, conflicts. The only way you can distinguish that these stories are all created by the same author is through the clarity of the storytelling. Everyone should read this.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400044597
Author:
Wolff, Tobias
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.55 x 1.3 in 1.6 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9781400044597 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This collection of new and classic short stories shows why Wolff is one of today's preeminent storytellers. He's already a fixture in modern American literature textbooks — but Wolff's writing is too sharp, too alive, too urgent to be confined solely to school assignments.

"Review A Day" by , "Those who have read Wolff's memoir This Boy's Life...or his novel Old School may find some echoes in these stories, but overall the short fiction is more venturous and spirited. Wolff consistently finds ways to slip beyond the unfolding of events in a narrative sense, making his stories something of a chrysalis from which emerges something non-narrative — call it heart." (read the entire Chicago Tribune review)
"Review" by , "Richard Yates, Raymond Carver and Robert Stone are the modern masters whom Wolff most resembles. Like their best work, his own exhibits classic richness and depth, and it's built to last."
"Review" by , "Wolff dexterously probes, in immaculately clear prose, the cor eof ordinary peoples' passions and vulnerabilities."
"Review" by , "Wolff's voice is unfailingly authentic, while his embrace of the variety of American experience is knowing, forgiving and all-encompassing."
"Review" by , "This collection of new and selected stories...amounts to a master class in the genre....Wolff juggles style and content with seeming effortlessness, but the truth is that he is a disciplined craftsman with a hard-earned understanding of the two worlds, real and imagined, he inhabits."
"Review" by , "These stories remind how powerful and important are good stories, especially ones that look right into our furtive, yearning hearts and refuse to blink."
"Review" by , "Wolff's deceptively simple prose style is like listening to an old friend eagerly telling the previous night's adventures."
"Review" by , "Our Story may be the summation of Wolff's story-writing career to date, but as its title suggests, he clearly has more tales to tell, and thankfully for his readers, the undiminished storytelling gifts with which to tell them."
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