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If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories

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If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The pieces of If I Loved You are linked only by the power of the authorial voice, and it is a powerful voice indeed....If I Loved You is a "Fantastic Voyage" into the bloodstream of the human species: mean little girls and sad old men and grieving mistresses and blind daughters and distracted dads. The full catastrophe, as Zorba said." Meredith Maran, San Francisco Chronicle (Read the entire San Francisco Chronicle review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction, Robin Black’s If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This takes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all.

Written with maturity and insight, and in beautiful, clear-eyed prose, these stories plumb the depths of love, loss, and hope. A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter’s infidelity, even as she keeps a disturbing secret of her own. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting a dying man’s portrait. An accident on a trip to Italy and an unexpected connection with a stranger cause a woman to question her lifelong assumptions about herself.

Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This illuminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves. 

Review:

"These stories are full of surprises. They start with the familiar, drawing the reader in with the beauty and precision of their prose until, suddenly, in the middle of a suburban family drama, Italian bandits appear. But what makes If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This such an exquisite collection is the way Robin Black brings these same unpredictable elements into the emotional lives of her characters, creating that special kind of literary magic, where a reader experiences everything, right alongside, and it all feels new." Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

Review:

“A wonderfully rich and rewarding story collection by a debut writer that's not to miss for fans of Alice Munro or Lorrie Moore.” Louisville Courier Journal

Review:

"Sensitive insights conveyed in elegantly plain prose—an auspicious debut.” Kirkus (Starred Review)

Review:

"Like fine chocolate or wine, a little Black goes a long way. Savor this collection slowly and reflectively, then share with a friend." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

“Robin Black knows people. She knows us, she loves us, she takes pity on us and she offers us back to ourselves in clear-eyed and graceful prose. Her people are alive on these pages in all their glory—heartache and joy, infidelity and loyalty—and stay with us.” Amy Bloom, author of Away and Where the God of Love Hangs Out

Review:

"Robin Black is an old soul who is a new addition to my short list of favorite authors. She is worthy of every bit of the high praise that is sure to come her way." Elizabeth Berg, author of The Last Time I Saw You

Review:

"Robin Black’s stories are beautifully measured and composed.... Few first collections — few collections of any sort — are as intelligent and as moving." Jim Shepard, author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway

Review:

"Robin Black's men and women have been around the block — in fact, they've done laps around the block — and are suffused with a fierce and hard-won knowledge about life, about love and loss.... [T]hese magnificent stories shine a light on what it means to be human." Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White

Synopsis:

With fearless, clear-eyed, and gorgeous prose, Black takes readers into the hearts and choices of people grappling with the need to reinvent reasons for optimism.

Synopsis:

FINALIST FOR THE FRANK O’CONNOR SHORT STORY AWARD

NOW WITH AN ADDITIONAL STORY.

Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction,If I Loved You, I Would Tell You Thistakes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all: A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter’s infidelity. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting the portrait of a dying man. Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest,If I Loved You, I Would Tell You Thisilluminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves.

Look for the If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This discussion guide inside.

Join the Circle for author chats and more.

RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

About the Author

Robin Black’s stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including One Story, Colorado Review, the Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Southern Review, and the anthology The Best Creative Nonfiction. The winner of many awards and a recipient of fellowships from the Leeway Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, Black is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.

Table of Contents

The guide — If I loved you — Immortalizing John Parker — Harriet Elliot — Gaining ground — Tableau vivant — Pine — A country where you once lived — Divorced, beheaded, survived — The history of the world.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cynthia Newberry Martin, April 30, 2010 (view all comments by Cynthia Newberry Martin)
When I heard that Robin Black was going to be the Sirenland Fellow for 2009 and that she had published a story in One Story, I moved quickly to my back issues and began to thumb through. I only save the stories I love and pass the others forward. Of course I'd saved her story. She writes the kind of stories I love.

Ten stories, including "Harriett Elliot," first published in One Story, make up this collection. [no spoilers here] These stories catch the ordinary moments in life-a new girl at school, a neighbor building a fence, a father taking a daughter to meet her first seeing-eye dog: "As Jack scans the road for signs, Lila is proclaiming to him in those certain tones of hers that if it weren't for being quite so blind and having to have one, she'd definitely never get a dog. Never. Never ever."

Although I don't have a favorite story, I do have a favorite first sentence. It comes in "A Country Where You Once Lived:""It isn't even a two-hour train ride out from London to the village where Jeremy's daughter and her husband-a man Jeremy has never met-have lived for the past three years, but it's one of those trips that seem to carry you much farther than the time might imply."

Trees, like guides, have two sides to them. In "Tableau Vivant," Jean walks her daughter Brooke to her car. "The roof, sunroof, hood were all splattered with bird droppings. `Stupid,' Brooke said. `Acres of open field, and I park under a tree. I was thinking shade, when I should have been thinking bird.'"

The stories in this collection slow the ordinary moments down so that you feel their underside; there's a pause, and then they expand with wonder. From the third story in the collection, "Immortalizing John Parker:" "A streetlight comes on. Clara waits to see how long it will take another to join it. A minute passes, two minutes. Nothing. They must have different levels of sensitivity, she thinks. They must believe different things about what darkness is."

In "The History of the World," the last and longest story and the only story with more than one point-of-view character, this is from Kate: "She has been many women, she understands, has slipped surefooted through the years from one identity to the next. Daughter, sister, wife, mother. And now to be this-to be a woman without even the illusion of knowing herself. The sensation is like flight."

These are the stories of our lives. They are the kind of stories that will crack your heart open. They will remind you, you have a heart, in case you've forgotten."The idea that as loved as we may be, we may also be forgotten. If only for a day here and there."

In each of these stories, worlds seem as if they're about to collide, but instead, they hover-one world on top of another for just a moment so that the light all around changes. Like in an eclipse. And it's that moment that causes these stories to expand before your eyes.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400068579
Subtitle:
Stories
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Black, Robin
Author:
Robin Black
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
General
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
RELIGION / Christianity/General
Subject:
Christianity - General
Subject:
Fiction : Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20100330
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
A." <br>-<i>-Cleveland Plain Dealer</i> <br><br>&l
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.70x5.44x.96 in. .91 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 288 pages Random House - English 9781400068579 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The pieces of If I Loved You are linked only by the power of the authorial voice, and it is a powerful voice indeed....If I Loved You is a "Fantastic Voyage" into the bloodstream of the human species: mean little girls and sad old men and grieving mistresses and blind daughters and distracted dads. The full catastrophe, as Zorba said." (Read the entire San Francisco Chronicle review)
"Review" by , "These stories are full of surprises. They start with the familiar, drawing the reader in with the beauty and precision of their prose until, suddenly, in the middle of a suburban family drama, Italian bandits appear. But what makes If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This such an exquisite collection is the way Robin Black brings these same unpredictable elements into the emotional lives of her characters, creating that special kind of literary magic, where a reader experiences everything, right alongside, and it all feels new."
"Review" by , “A wonderfully rich and rewarding story collection by a debut writer that's not to miss for fans of Alice Munro or Lorrie Moore.”
"Review" by , "Sensitive insights conveyed in elegantly plain prose—an auspicious debut.”
"Review" by , "Like fine chocolate or wine, a little Black goes a long way. Savor this collection slowly and reflectively, then share with a friend."
"Review" by , “Robin Black knows people. She knows us, she loves us, she takes pity on us and she offers us back to ourselves in clear-eyed and graceful prose. Her people are alive on these pages in all their glory—heartache and joy, infidelity and loyalty—and stay with us.”
"Review" by , "Robin Black is an old soul who is a new addition to my short list of favorite authors. She is worthy of every bit of the high praise that is sure to come her way."
"Review" by , "Robin Black’s stories are beautifully measured and composed.... Few first collections — few collections of any sort — are as intelligent and as moving."
"Review" by , "Robin Black's men and women have been around the block — in fact, they've done laps around the block — and are suffused with a fierce and hard-won knowledge about life, about love and loss.... [T]hese magnificent stories shine a light on what it means to be human."
"Synopsis" by , With fearless, clear-eyed, and gorgeous prose, Black takes readers into the hearts and choices of people grappling with the need to reinvent reasons for optimism.
"Synopsis" by , FINALIST FOR THE FRANK O’CONNOR SHORT STORY AWARD

NOW WITH AN ADDITIONAL STORY.

Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction,If I Loved You, I Would Tell You Thistakes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all: A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter’s infidelity. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting the portrait of a dying man. Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest,If I Loved You, I Would Tell You Thisilluminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves.

Look for the If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This discussion guide inside.

Join the Circle for author chats and more.

RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

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