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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445


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The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story


The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story Cover



Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of The News from Spain and of Wickersham’s near magical ability to capture the mystery and complexity of love.

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Tammy Sproule, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by Tammy Sproule)
This was one of those books I knew I was going to like immediately. The concept is wonderful - one sentence - a string of words that all of the stories have in common - amazing! Each story was so different, yet all had a richness of character and plot that were worth reading. I started it and could not put it down. Every time I finished one of the stories, I was sad, but then I had another new story to read - until the end. It was a creative idea that was well-executed.
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Product Details

Seven Variations on a Love Story
Knopf Publishing Group
Wickersham, Joan
Stories (single author)
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.13 x 5.86 x 0.85 in 0.9 lb

Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 224 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307958884 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I've just started reading Joan Wickersham's seven-story collection, The News from Spain. I'm loving Wickersham's crisp, unpredictable writing in this smart look at the shimmer, the longing, the downright messiness of love.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Subtitled, Seven Variations on a Love Story, each of the seven stories in this uneven collection is titled The News from Spain and makes ingenious use of that phrase somewhere in the narrative. A mother consigned to a nursing home and her adult daughter engage in an intricate dance of filial obligation after the mother's condition improves. At an all-boys school, a lone female student, 13, develops a friendship with her married Spanish teacher whose secret extracurricular activities will in time bring tragedy to the school. While being interviewed for a biography, the elderly widow of a long-dead race car driver is shocked by a confession from the biographer's wife. A married woman, for the amusement of a co-worker with whom she's in love, invents a story about a WWII-era doctor's relationship with two women. Although the stories are written with intelligence and acutely observed, some have overcomplicated framing devices, and there's not much variation throughout, making the concept feel more like a gimmick than a conceit that illuminates the characters' attempts to connect in a world of hidden desires. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman. (Oct. 11)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Joan Wickersham makes a triumphant return to fiction with The News From Spain. This collection of tales draws forth a fascinating cast of characters.These stories are bound together by the universal search for companionship and understanding.Wickersham articulates subtleties of human behavior that ordinarily elude language altogether; she unveils her characters' unacknowledged thoughts and emotions in a terse style that defies cliché in its commitment to realism. Wickersham paints everyday yet complex portraits of love, filigreed with truths that resonate."
"Review" by , "Elegantly structured, emotionally compelling.Wickersham dissects the human heart with precision and restraint that make her work all the more moving. Short stories don't get much better than this."
"Review" by , "The News From Spain evokes hidden topographies of need, and the emotional tipping points that occasionally break through the surface."
"Review" by , "Joan Wickersham has done it again: astonished, enchanted, and moved me, this time in an unorthodox yet classically insightful collection of stories. While each one takes the reader to a world distinctly and alluringly its own, all seven tales come together at the end in a shimmering constellation. Like Alice Munro at her best, Wickersham sees almost too well how the choices we make in our many relationships — with parents, spouses, lovers, teachers, friends; even a chance acquaintance — steer our lives in unpredictable, sometimes shocking ways."
"Review" by , "Joan Wickersham's The News from Spain is a kaleidoscopic view of the subject of love. It is amazingly perceptive psychologically, a gorgeous, completely original work. I loved it. As soon as I finished it, I began to read it again."
"Review" by , "Joan Wickersham's well-mannered characters control their responses to disappointment with outward finesse, which makes their heartbreak all the more potent. An expert in the he-and-she of it, Wickersham turns the most exquisitely particular truths into universals. The News from Spain is brilliant."
"Review" by , "Desire is literature's great subject, and yet so rarely can a writer come close to describing the real thing. In The News from Spain, Joan Wickersham has achieved something miraculous: seven prismatic stories that refract the lonely, marvelous, terrible complexity of human longing. Radiant with insight."
"Review" by , "Love — and all its messy, gorgeous, decimating complications — animates this brilliantly conceived collection of stories. With astonishing acuity, Wickersham illuminates not only our passions but also our abiding consolations."
"Review" by , "Joan Wickersham's brilliant The News From Spain shows, in all its twisty beauty, what a short story collection can do. The stories are gorgeous in themselves, but the way they speak to each other is truly extraordinary."
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