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9780307958884

The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story

Wickersham, Joan

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A San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Best Book of the Year

The author of the acclaimed memoir The Suicide Index returns with a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding it. Spanning centuries and continents, from eighteenth-century Vienna to contemporary America, Joan Wickersham shows, with uncanny exactitude, how we never really know what's in someone else's heart--or in our own.

Review :

Best Books of 2012, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus Reviews
Wise and courageous and often brilliant...breaks new ground in our perceptions of what a short story can be. Wonderfully imaginative and original. - Boston Globe
An ode to heartbreak and regret...Wickersham's gift is for capturing the habits of mind that lead even smart people to deceive themselves...her book makes you slow down and listen, and then watch for people to reveal themselves. - New York Times Book Review
Elegantly structured, emotionally compelling...Short stories don't get much better than this. - Kirkus Reviews

Do not mistake Wickersham's exquisitely polished prose for good manners. Although she writes with a vintage grace...she is brutal and funny too...Divine. - San Francisco Chronicle
Virtuosic...Wickersham [takes an] emotional cannonball into every single one of her characters. The doubts and tenderness they share are ones that only the finest fiction can create. - Oprah.com Book of the Week

Wickersham makes a triumphant return to fiction...articulates subtleties of human behavior that ordinarily elude language altogether. - Elle

Munro's and Wickersham's books are at the top of this year's pile. - Chicago Tribune
So moving it will close your throat. - LA Times
The prose is beautiful, and you feel those characters like real people. - Cheryl Strayed
A master of the written word and storytelling in all its forms. - BookPage
Joan Wickersham has done it again: astonished, enchanted, and moved me. -   Julia Glass
Gorgeous, completely original...As soon as I finished it, I began to read it again. - Andre Gregory

As skilled as Alice Munro in maneuvering her characters, and the reader, through time...Highly recommended. - Library Journal

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Product Description:

“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.” --Elizabeth McCracken, author of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

From the author of the acclaimed memoir The Suicide Index, a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding, much less controlling, it.

In these seven beautifully wrought variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories range over centuries and continents--from 18th-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president’s wife. A race-car driver’s widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer--all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination.

Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2012: Joan Wickersham’s graceful new story collection explores the failings and desires of seven different sets of people, all of whom share a sense of longing and a single title: "The News from Spain." Each tableau fills a concentrated space with rich detail: the sickening smell of popcorn, crumpled tissues and crusted paintbrushes, a white breast in green water. Wickersham crafts intelligent and vivid narratives--the only two girls in an all-boys school build a delicate friendship; a bedridden wife takes comfort in brandy and her caretaker--but she is at her best in the realm of nuance, where a cardboard box gone unopened tells you everything you need to know. Human beings in a constant quest for kinship are nothing new. But in Wickersham’s hands, their journey feels entirely worth joining, even briefly, and the outcome is anything but certain. -- Mia Lipman

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Wickersham, Joan Author
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Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Fine Book Clean Tight Pages. Book Condition: New Book Never Read. 1st Edition; 1st Printing. In protective Bro-Dart cover. Review copy with slip laid in. Seven love stories. Bookseller Inventory # 000143

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