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"Kirsten Lunstrum's stories are gem stones, multi-faceted, highly polished, more and more complicated the closer you look," says Pam Houston. Each finely tuned story in this remarkable debut collection captures a pivotal moment in the life of a woman trying to reconcile past expectations with present, usually unplanned, developments. In the title story, a woman who decided she really should be French visits her married daughter, who once again becomes tangled in a web of lies and disapprovals. In "Picnic," a new spin on family politics emerges during an outing with mysterious Aunt Vivian. In "The Virtuoso," a young violin prodigy's talent disrupts the harmony of her teacher and his wife. Bringing to mind the work of Elizabeth Bishop and Alice Munro, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum's stories form a sophisticated and graceful collection.
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Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum was born in 1979 near Seattle and now lives in eastern Washington. This is her first book.Review:
"These tales are polished tidbits, like translucent stones you find on the beach: smooth to the touch but full of veins and cracks of underlying complexity. You can feel each story spreading in multiple directions, leaving you wanting more." -Seattle Times
"Still and hauntingly ambiguous, these collected stories seem inspired, even inhabited, by the coastal fog of the Pacific Northwest, where the author grew up and where most of the pieces are set. This is the fiction of mood and sensibility, not of incident. Accordingly, it is fiction about women, and about the interactions between them... These fictions evoke ongoing relationships that seem to stretch like a timeline fore and aft, passing briefly through one crystallizing moment." -Boston Globe
"This Life She's Chosen, finely wrought stories by Puget Sound area native Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, herald the arrival of a striking new talent. In her mid-20s, Lunstrum writes with a quiet confidence rare in so young an author, and we willingly surrender ourselves to her sure and steady prose...this collection marks an impressive debut, written with an admirable restraint that throws into sharper relief the emotional turmoil of the characters. There is a clean whiff of the prairie - reminiscent of Willa Cather - in these tales of stoic people soldiering on as best they can through their lives. Lunstrum's next book will be eagerly awaited." -Tacoma News Tribune
"Northwest author Lunstrum's measured approach yields moments of lovely, imagistic immediacy: "Her body was soft, dimpled just above her backside, her hips lined with fine pale stretch marks like hairline fractures on a porcelain dish." Read one at a time, these stories have an atmospheric sort of power, like a melancholy song that haunts the listener hours after it's heard." -Seattle Weekly
"A fine debut collection of engaging short stories, many focused on dynamics between individuals." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Lunstrum takes readers on a sensory tour of the West Coast, from Anchorage to Omak, from Spokane to Seattle and on down to northern California, detailing the landscape with the same sensitive focus as she does her characters. This Life is delicate in nature, bringing forth the subtlest tensions between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives. Lunstrum's language is deft and fluid.... It's from within this soft insight that the messages emerge, messages about grace and letting go." -Spokane Inlander
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Book Description Chronicle Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0811845133 Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z0811845133ZN
Book Description Chronicle Books, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. 000-384: Hardcover with Dustjacket. 191 pages. No Defects. A New, Unread Book. A beautiful, square, tight copy with clean, unmarked pages. Tight hinges indicate book has never been opened. Perfect Gift Quality. A Collection of Ten Short Stories. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First Edition, First Printing 2005. Published by Chronicle Books. San Francisco, California. Seller Inventory # 36195
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