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The Mother Garden: Storiesby Robin Romm
Synopses & Reviews
Robin Romm's arresting and resonant stories take on the fundamental themes of the human condition: mortality, loyalty, and love. In fresh and irreverent prose, Romm captures the moments before and after loss, mining the depths of grief with wit and grace.
The stories in The Mother Garden are at once vividly realistic and infused with the bizarre — a man uses a chicken egg to test whether he is ready for fatherhood; a daughter plants a garden of mothers to replace her own; a family's ghosts literally fall through the ceiling, disrupting daily life; a woman finds her father sleeping in the desert after twenty-six years of living without him. People stumble in relationships, start families, struggle with illness, learn to mourn — and as in life, these acts are consuming, magical, and disorienting.
Sharply funny and deeply moving, this extraordinary collection introduces a young writer of fierce originality and prodigious talent.
"These stories are fantastic — in both senses of the word. They are also eerie and moving, and they mark the debut of a very gifted young writer." Ann Packer
"The Mother Garden presents a wonderful new voice. I found the stories full of lively quirkiness, many individual sentences pulsing with surprising word choices and imagery, and graceful endings that made me smile — sometimes quite nervously, but always appreciatively." Ann Beattie
"In her embrace of the off-kilter (one story is aptly titled 'The Tilt'), Romm is mining the same vein as Aimee Bender and Judy Budnitz, whose recent collections have featured, respectively, a pumpkin-head family and a woman whose pregnancy lasts for years. But Romm is a close-up magician, more intimate and less instinctively fabulist, and most of her work leaves room for rational interpretation." Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review
"Robin Romm has a darkly humorous tone, an eye for surreal possibilities and an engrossing voice that establishes distance without sacrificing emotional effect. This debut collection augurs a promising future for her." The Miami Herald
"The bizarre twists in Romm's otherwise familiar stories require the reader to take leaps of faith, but the author handles the material delicately and matter-of-factly, making it believable. Imaginative and insightful." Kirkus Reviews
"A combination of spare prose and fantastic events make Romm's seemingly simple tales startling and compelling." Booklist
About the Author
Robin Romm was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Tin House, One Story, and The Threepenny Review. She was a 2006 MacDowell Fellow and lives in Berkeley, California.
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