Synopses & Reviews
The triumphant, long-awaited return of a writer of remarkable gifts: in this collection of richly imagined stories — her first new work in twenty years — the master of short fiction delivers a diverse suite of stories about men and women confronting their vulnerabilities in times of transition and challenge.
Beginning in the 1980s, Elizabeth Tallent's work, appeared in some of our most prestigious literary publications, including The New Yorker, Esquire, and Harpers. Marked by its quiet power and emotional nuance, her fiction garnered widespread praise.
Now, at long last, Tallent returns with a new collection of diverse, thematically linked, and deeply powerful stories that confirm her enduring gift for capturing relationships at their moment of transformation: marriages breaking apart, people haunted by memories of old love and reaching haltingly toward new futures. Mendocino Fire explore moments of fracture and fragmentation; it limns the wilderness of our inner psyche and brilliantly evokes the electric tension of deep emotion. In these pages, Tallent explores expectations met and thwarted, and our never-ending quest to avoid being alone.
With this breathtaking collection, Elizabeth Tallent cements her rightful place in the literary pantheon beside her contemporaries Lorrie Moore, Ann Beattie, and Louise Erdrich. Visceral and surprising, profound yet elemental, Mendocino Fire is a welcome visit with a wise and familiar friend.
“A good short story is a visceral thing, but it is rare to find stories as elegant, as perfectly made as Elizabeth Tallent's, that put a scare into us. Tallent is a magician: her characters get sawed in half by life and stand up whole.” Valerie Trueblood, author of Search Party and Seven Loves
“The first pleasure here is the glitter and darkness of the prose only Tallent can produce; but the profounder gift in these stories is the authors empathy, a tireless empathy, her knowledge of her characters peculiar entitlements and pangs and assumptions.” Louis B. Jones, author of Innocence and Ordinary Money
“Elizabeth Tallent is, and always has been, a vivid, meticulous, and astutely inviting writer. These new stories vitally tell us how things are for us, in the most acute and memorable ways. Her ear is perfect; her gaze searing and unmistakable.” Richard Ford
“Tallent's assured voice is a pleasure to follow through this book. . . . An ambitious and wide-ranging set of stories that creates empathy for most of its characters due to Tallent's generous imagination.” Kirkus Reviews