Synopses & Reviews
Among the characters you'll find in this collection of twelve stories by Tobias Wolff are a teenage boy who tells morbid lies about his home life, a timid professor who, in the first genuine outburst of her life, pours out her opinions in spite of a protesting audience, a prudish loner who gives an obnoxious hitchhiker a ride, and an elderly couple on a golden anniversary cruise who endure the offensive conviviality of the ship's social director.
Fondly yet sharply drawn, Wolff's characters stumble over each other in their baffled yet resolute search for the "right path."
"There is not one weak piece in this superb collection of short stories, most of which have appeared in magazines such as Antaeus, Atlantic Monthly, and TriQuarterly. Wolff's prose is straightforward and clear, his themes important and deep. The characters vary from a scholarship boy trying to fit into an upper-class boarding school, a wounded hunter trying to find safety, a golden anniversary couple realizing they do not know what they have to celebrate. Neither trendy nor self-absorbed, Wolff's realistic stories are forceful and hard-hitting looks at the most elemental forces of human emotion. This is the kind of literature that lasts. Raymond Carver thinks Wolff may be a 'young master,' and he probably is. This is the most memorable, moving book this reviewer has read in a long time." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Tobias Wolff is a captivating, brilliant writer, one of the best we've got." Annie Dillard
The winner of the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for his novella The Barracks Thief now presents a collection of 12 short stories that showcase his extraordinary talent. Fondly yet sharply drawn, Wolff's characters stumble over each other in their baffled yet resolute search for the "right path". "These stories provoke our amazed appreciation." (New York Times Book Review).
About the Author
Tobias Wolff was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Washington State. He attended Oxford University and Stanford University, where he now teaches English and creative writing. He has received the Story Prize, both the Rea Award and PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.