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Do Not Deny Me: Storiesby Jean Thompson
Synopses & Reviews
When Jean Thompson—“America’s Alice Munro” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—is telling stories, “You cannot put the book down” (The Seattle Times), and her superlative new collection, Do Not Deny Me, is one to be savored, word by word.
• Award-winning storyteller gaining popularity: Jean Thompson’s short fiction has been honored by the National endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation; Who Do You Love: Stories was a National Book Award finalist for fiction and was promoted by David Sedaris during his own lecture tour; and Throw Like a Girl: Stories was a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. The collection is also in its sixth printing, as Thompson’s longstanding critical acclaim crosses over into a popular following. Do Not Deny Me is perfectly positioned to gain an even wider audience.
• Do Not Deny Me: Here is a title that demands—and commands—attention in and of itself. Yet Thompson’s latest collection is no literary dare, delivering as it does twelve dazzling new stories that together offer, with wit, humor, and razor-sharp perception, a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day. In Thompson’s writing, The New York Times Book Review has noted, “some of the biggest satisfactions happen line by line, thanks to Thompson’s effortless ability to tip her prose into the universal.” Thompson succeeds as “one of our most astute diagnosticians of contemporary experience” (The Boston Globe).
"National Book Award — finalist Thompson (for Who Do You Love) delivers a deeply affecting collection that elevates the quotidian to the sublime. In the title story, Julia, a young woman 'embarrassed' for 'people [who] talked about guardian angels or spirit guides,' visits a psychic after her boyfriend dies. Faced with the ability to access the world beyond, she recoils sharply. The collection goes on to explore a bewildering array of experience, from a young wife denying her husband's white-collar crimes in 'Liberty Tax' to the concerned neighbor of 'Little Brown Bird' who is powerless to help a little girl being molested by her father. In 'Escape,' a man who has suffered a stroke finds himself at the mercy of his increasingly abusive wife. Determined to get away from her, he's pleasantly shocked when she solves his problem in a way he never counted on. Thompson immerses readers in details and emotions so consuming and convincing that the inane vagaries of modern life can take on near mythic importance. This collection shows the confidence and power of a writer in her prime. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Jean Thompson, heralded as America's Alice Munro...one of the best contemporary short-story writers by Kirkus Reviews, delivers twelve exquisite new stories that combine her beloved trademarks of dark humor, seductively sharp wit, and uncanny observations on human nature. Do Not Deny Me is a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day: Thompson's characters — a middle manager in the midst of midlife crisis, an urban single visiting her best friend turned suburban mother, a grieving woman looking for guidance — are instantly recognizable in their predicaments, foibles, and sensibilities.
A brilliantly wrought exploration of the myriad circumstances that Americans are experiencing right now, this superlative collection perfectly captures the joys and amusements, trials and sorrows of its fictional inhabitants. Do Not Deny Me should be savored, word by word.
If there are Jean Thompson characters, ' they're us, and never have we been so articulate and worthy of compassion. These stories confirm that no one is beneath her interest, or beyond her sure and seemingly limitless reach.--David Sedaris.
About the Author
Jean Thompson is the author of Who Do You Love: Stories, a 1999 National Book Award finalist for fiction, and the novels City Boy and Wide Blue Yonder, a New York Times Notable Book and Chicago Tribune
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