Synopses & Reviews
An elegant and richly evocative collection about the nature of paradise and the complexities of desire. THESE EIGHT MAGICAL STORIES are about the Edenic spaces that people create in their lives and the serpents that subtly inhabit them; in each case a form of revelation accompanies the threat of expulsion from the earthly paradise. In "Rug Weaver" (selected for Best American Short Stories 2001), an Iranian rug dealer makes a paradise of his prison cell by weaving an elaborate rug in his mind. Grieving parents in the title story transfigure an exotic luxury subdivision in southern California into a vision of heaven. In "Interpreters" a couple working in a re-created colonial village find that the roles they play are more seductively real than their lives outside. For all these men and women, the apple is only the beginning. And in every story there is a tension between inner and outer worlds as the characters leave a place that grows greener, lusher, and more perfect as they look back.
"Moss's readings of heart and mind are impressive enough; but where she excels is at the workbench. The right word, the flawless sentence, the echoing simile -- Moss can write." James H. Bready
"Moss gracefully explores the gap between the Edens we imagine and the paradises we attempt to create." Baltimore Sun
"With , Barbara Klein Moss seems to have come into the world full-blown. These stories, beautifully balanced and assured, are filled with wisdom, humor, sadness, and love. The concluding novella is magnificent. The sturdy, elegant structure, the building eroticism and the way that weaves so seamlessly into the mysticism -- well, it is utterly memorable." Donna Seaman Booklist
These eight magical stories address the Edenic spaces that people create in their lives and the serpents that subtly inhabit them. In "Rug Weaver" (selected for ) an Iranian rug dealer makes a paradise of his prison cell by weaving an elaborate rug in his mind. Grieving parents in the title story transfigure a luxury subdivision in southern California into a vision of heaven. And in the novella "The Palm Tree of Dilys Cathcart" an unlikely love story unfolds between an Orthodox Jewish butcher and a lonely English piano teacher, who discovers a hunger for intimacy and ritual as she helps the butcher transcribe the mysterious songs he hears in his head. These and other stories constitute an elegant and richly evocative collection about the complexities of worldly and spiritual desires. Reading group guide included.
"Each of Moss's surprising, beautifully constructed, and soulful stories brilliantly illuminates the paradox of paradise." --
About the Author
Barbara Klein Moss is the author of the story collection Little Edens. Her fiction has appeared in a number of journals including the Missouri Review and the Georgia Review, and in Best American Short Stories. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland.