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Tell Me: 30 Stories

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Tell Me: 30 Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

From the celebrated author David Gates in Newsweek described as a "literary master," a selection from over twenty-five years.

Chosen from Robison's three long-unavailable collections, along with four new stories, Tell Me reflects the early brilliance as well as the fulfilled promise of Mary Robison's literary career. In these stories (most of which have appeared in The New Yorker), we enter her sly world of plotters, absconders, ponderers, and pontificators. Robison's characters have chips on their shoulders; they talk back to us in language that is edgy and nervy; they say "all right" and "okay" often, not because they consent, but because nothing counts. Still, there are small victories here, small only because, as Robison precisely documents, larger victories are impossible.

Here then, among others, is "Pretty Ice," chosen by Richard Ford for The Granta Book of American Short Stories; "Coach," chosen for Best American Short Stories; "I Get By," an O. Henry Prize Stories selection; and "Happy Boy, Allen," a Pushcart Prize Stories selection. These stories — sharp, cool, and astringently funny — confirm Mary Robison's place as one of our most original writers and led Richard Yates to comment, "Robison writes like an avenging angel, and I think she may be a genius."

Review:

"Thirty brief, sharply delineated short stories...chronicle emotional dislocation with witty dispassion....The brevity of these tales sometimes leaves the reader hanging....Yet nothing is superfluous, and in the spare sadness of Robison's prose entire lives are presented." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"No American short-story writer speaks to our time more urgently or fondly than Robison." David Leavitt, The Village Voice

Review:

"Robison?s stories always have the rare intimacy of confession....Robison is realism in the form of narrative non sequitur, but what is gained by strategic anti-reliance on plot is, in the lesser efforts, lost to an over-reliance on the emotional pyrotechnics of death, either random or self-inflicted. Still, good to see an important voice back in print." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The sparest of [Robison's] stories are hardly there; the best are crisp sketches of hopeful Americans....Robison's sense of comedy is so inseparable from empathy that a grin cracked at her characters' foolishness is a smile of self-recognition. (Grade: B+)" Troy Patterson, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Robison is both wise and entertaining, a technician with a sense of humor, a minimalist with a good eye for what can be salvaged from lives of quiet desperation." The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Mary Robison is the author of three story collections and two novels. She has written for Hollywood and been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1977. She is now a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her most recent novel is Why Did I Ever?

Table of Contents

1 Coach 1
2 An Amateur's Guide to the Night 20
3 Smoke 33
4 In the Woods 40
5 The Help 45
6 I Get By 59
7 Daughters 68
8 Seizing Control 82
9 Kite and Paint 88
10 Father, Grandfather 95
11 Trying 105
12 Pretty Ice 117
13 While Home 125
14 In Jewel 138
15 Happy Boy, Allen 143
16 I Am Twenty-One 155
17 Independence Day 159
18 Apostasy 168
19 For Real 175
20 May Queen 183
21 Your Errant Mom 188
22 The Wellman Twins 199
23 Mirror 208
24 Care 217
25 Doctor's Sons 228
26 What I Hear 232
27 Smart 237
28 Sisters 252
29 Likely Lake 260
30 Yours 275

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582432588
Author:
Robison, Mary
Publisher:
Counterpoint
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
107-341
Publication Date:
October 8, 2002
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Tell Me: 30 Stories Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Counterpoint Press - English 9781582432588 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Thirty brief, sharply delineated short stories...chronicle emotional dislocation with witty dispassion....The brevity of these tales sometimes leaves the reader hanging....Yet nothing is superfluous, and in the spare sadness of Robison's prose entire lives are presented."
"Review" by , "No American short-story writer speaks to our time more urgently or fondly than Robison."
"Review" by , "Robison?s stories always have the rare intimacy of confession....Robison is realism in the form of narrative non sequitur, but what is gained by strategic anti-reliance on plot is, in the lesser efforts, lost to an over-reliance on the emotional pyrotechnics of death, either random or self-inflicted. Still, good to see an important voice back in print."
"Review" by , "The sparest of [Robison's] stories are hardly there; the best are crisp sketches of hopeful Americans....Robison's sense of comedy is so inseparable from empathy that a grin cracked at her characters' foolishness is a smile of self-recognition. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "Robison is both wise and entertaining, a technician with a sense of humor, a minimalist with a good eye for what can be salvaged from lives of quiet desperation."
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