Synopses & Reviews
Hempel's now-classic collection of short fiction is peopled by complex characters who have discovered that their safety nets are not dependable and who must now learn to balance on the threads of wit, irony, and spirit.
"This batch of 15 selections has the smell of death about it. There is illness, abortion, flood, fire, and the mayhem of a car wreck. We have a dying friend, the demise of pets and other animals of less intimate acquaintence, and memories of a dead mother. Madness also abounds. In the midst of all this darkness, Hempel attempts, by understated narration, to show the reader the brief patches of light that make survival a reasonable choice. If a reader were sympathetic to the narrator in the initial piece—a two-page sketch on suicide—one doubts that the 'reasons to live' that follow would be all that convincing." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
About the Author
Amy Hempel is the author of Tumble Home, Reasons to Live, and At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, and the coeditor of Unleashed. Her stories have appeared in Elle, GQ, Harper's, Playboy, the Quarterly, and Vanity Fair. She teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Bennington College and lives in New York City.