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How We Are Hungry: Stories

by

How We Are Hungry: Stories Cover

 

Staff Pick

This is the kind of short story collection that contains images that will stick with you forever; the idea of a wave as an escalator is something I still think about every time I go surfing, and, in fact, I'm pretty sure it's this book that made me want to surf in the first place. Even though Eggers is known for his novels, these short stories are perfect distillations of feelings, always going for less instead of more, taking ridiculous risks and coming together in a collection that will make you wish Eggers wrote short stories more often.
Recommended by Lizzy, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Dave Eggers's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a memoir full of practiced idiosyncrasy and contrived candor, revealed nothing so much as the author's X-rated affection for the sound of his own voice. His latest effort, the story collection How We Are Hungry (McSweeney's), is a far more temperate, generally melancholic affair. But in it a certain voice keeps popping up oddly: that of the irrepressibly manic memoirist." Jon Zobenica, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Publisher Comments:

Eggers presents his first collection of short stories. The characters are roaming, searching, and often struggling, and revelations do not always arrive on schedule. Precisely crafted and boldly experimental, How We Are Hungry simultaneously embraces and expands the boundaries of the short story.

Review:

"[T]hese tales reinvigorate that staid old form, the short story, with a jittery sense of adventure....Eggers' prose is fun, even when he is twisting a knife in your heart....He does things that should be impossible, and he does them gracefully." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"The 15 stories in Dave Eggers' handsome new collection...range from droll, plotless two-page stunts to long, haunting character-driven narratives. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Eggers is most compelling when he's darting out on a stylistic limb....In his short work, he plays with format and content alike, and the results are as remarkable as they are intrepid." The Onion

Review:

"It's [the] tension between our base and noble impulses, our so-called animal and refined natures, that gives How We Are Hungry its momentum and imparts to the best of its stories a rare and welcome grace." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[A] lot of How We Are Hungry makes you wonder if [Eggers's] heart is still entirely in his writing....When he dispenses with tongue-in-cheekiness and cute experimentalism, his prose is supple, transparent and surprising..." A. O. Scott, The New York Times

Review:

"It's entertaining, and carries the reader along on a rush of story....One may not be able to reliably judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the cover is right. This one is rare-looking, and rich and important-looking. It looks like a classic." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"One of the many pleasures in reading How We Are Hungry...is that it reminds you of his abilities as a writer. He can dazzle...he can move effortlessly between classic storytelling and the more experimental." Salon.com

Review:

"A return to creative form....As always, Eggers finds his place between outrageous humor and disastrous sadness....[His stories] don't quit resonating until long after the last sentence is finished." Newcity Chicago

Review:

"Its potential for inspiration and discussion, not to mention the nifty packaging, make How We Are Hungry a perfect book for a resolution-making time of year." The Philadelphia City Paper

Review:

"'After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned' is a small tour de force that ratifies [Eggers's] ability to write about anything with style and vigor and genuine emotion." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"['Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly' is] a masterpiece...the narration is magisterial, without a false note....It may well be the last great twentieth-century short story." The Observer (London)

Review:

"There's stunning writing here. Subtle, epigrammatic, candid and thoughtful." Herald (London)

Synopsis:

How We Are Hungry collects 15 short stories written over the past four years. Many of the stories have been published before, and many are new. "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water," originally published in Zoetrope: All-Story, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction and was included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2004. Two of the stories in this collection — "Measuring the Jump" (now retitled) and "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water" — were recently named "Notables" in The Best American Short Stories 2004, edited by Lorrie Moore.

About the Author

Dave Eggers and his wife live in Northern California. He edits a magazine, McSweeney's (www.mcsweeneys.net), and teaches at 826 Valencia in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Another 7
What it means when a crowd in a faraway nation takes a soldier representing your own nation, shoots him, drags him from his vehicle and then mutilates him in the dust 17
The only meaning of the oil-wet water 19
On wanting to have three walls up before she gets home 55
Climbing to the window, pretending to dance 57
She waits, seething, blooming 83
Quiet 85
Your mother and I 115
Naveed 125
Notes for a story of a man who will not die alone 127
About the man who began flying after meeting her 139
Up the mountain coming down slowly 141
There are some things he should keep to himself 201
When they learned to yelp 207
After I was thrown in the river and before I drowned 211

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

gooser114, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by gooser114)
Some of the stories, typically the longer ones, were engaging with interesting characters. The stories that I particularly enjoyed were: “Another” and “Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly.” However, most of the stories seemed to lack a crux. I was not particularly moved or attached to any of the characters or stories. Overall it was a good read, but nothing that I would consider especially remarkable.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400095568
Author:
Eggers, Dave
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Psychological fiction, American
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
October 11, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.96x5.28x.59 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

How We Are Hungry: Stories New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400095568 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This is the kind of short story collection that contains images that will stick with you forever; the idea of a wave as an escalator is something I still think about every time I go surfing, and, in fact, I'm pretty sure it's this book that made me want to surf in the first place. Even though Eggers is known for his novels, these short stories are perfect distillations of feelings, always going for less instead of more, taking ridiculous risks and coming together in a collection that will make you wish Eggers wrote short stories more often.

"Review A Day" by , "Dave Eggers's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a memoir full of practiced idiosyncrasy and contrived candor, revealed nothing so much as the author's X-rated affection for the sound of his own voice. His latest effort, the story collection How We Are Hungry (McSweeney's), is a far more temperate, generally melancholic affair. But in it a certain voice keeps popping up oddly: that of the irrepressibly manic memoirist." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "[T]hese tales reinvigorate that staid old form, the short story, with a jittery sense of adventure....Eggers' prose is fun, even when he is twisting a knife in your heart....He does things that should be impossible, and he does them gracefully."
"Review" by , "The 15 stories in Dave Eggers' handsome new collection...range from droll, plotless two-page stunts to long, haunting character-driven narratives. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "Eggers is most compelling when he's darting out on a stylistic limb....In his short work, he plays with format and content alike, and the results are as remarkable as they are intrepid."
"Review" by , "It's [the] tension between our base and noble impulses, our so-called animal and refined natures, that gives How We Are Hungry its momentum and imparts to the best of its stories a rare and welcome grace."
"Review" by , "[A] lot of How We Are Hungry makes you wonder if [Eggers's] heart is still entirely in his writing....When he dispenses with tongue-in-cheekiness and cute experimentalism, his prose is supple, transparent and surprising..."
"Review" by , "It's entertaining, and carries the reader along on a rush of story....One may not be able to reliably judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the cover is right. This one is rare-looking, and rich and important-looking. It looks like a classic."
"Review" by , "One of the many pleasures in reading How We Are Hungry...is that it reminds you of his abilities as a writer. He can dazzle...he can move effortlessly between classic storytelling and the more experimental."
"Review" by , "A return to creative form....As always, Eggers finds his place between outrageous humor and disastrous sadness....[His stories] don't quit resonating until long after the last sentence is finished."
"Review" by , "Its potential for inspiration and discussion, not to mention the nifty packaging, make How We Are Hungry a perfect book for a resolution-making time of year."
"Review" by , "'After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned' is a small tour de force that ratifies [Eggers's] ability to write about anything with style and vigor and genuine emotion."
"Review" by , "['Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly' is] a masterpiece...the narration is magisterial, without a false note....It may well be the last great twentieth-century short story."
"Review" by , "There's stunning writing here. Subtle, epigrammatic, candid and thoughtful."
"Synopsis" by , How We Are Hungry collects 15 short stories written over the past four years. Many of the stories have been published before, and many are new. "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water," originally published in Zoetrope: All-Story, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Fiction and was included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2004. Two of the stories in this collection — "Measuring the Jump" (now retitled) and "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water" — were recently named "Notables" in The Best American Short Stories 2004, edited by Lorrie Moore.
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