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WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
THE STORY PRIZE FINALIST
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST
"Her writing is intelligent, perceptive, funny and quite beautiful...Pearlman's view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments...These quiet, elegant stories add something significant to the literary landscape...The volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one. Maybe from now on everyone will know of Edith Pearlman." --Roxana Robinson, New York Times Book Review
In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these twenty-one vintage selected stories and thirteen scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.
No matter the situation in which her characters find themselves -- an unforeseen love affair between adolescent cousins, a lifetime of memories unearthed by an elderly couple's decision to shoplift, the deathbed secret of a young girl's forbidden forest tryst with the tsar, the danger that befalls a wealthy couple's child in a European inn of misfits -- Edith Pearlman conveys their experience with wit and aplomb, with relentless but clear-eyed optimism, and with a supple prose that reminds us, sentence by sentence, page by page, of the gifts our greatest verbal innovators can bestow.
Binocular Vision reveals a true American original, a master of the story, showing us, with her classic sensibility and lasting artistry, the cruelties, the longings, and the rituals that connect human beings across space and time.
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Edith Pearlman is the recipient of the 2011 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of short fiction. Her most recent collection, Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories, won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and was named a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The Story Prize. She has published more than 250 works in national magazines and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, and The Pushcart Prize, as well as three previous story collections: Vaquita, winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, Love Among the Greats, winner of the Spokane Fiction Award, and How to Fall, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
"Pearlman peels back the surface of the conventional and reveals the more complicated emotions underneath...All of the pieces here have been exquisitely arranged to make this book. Themes recur; narratives speak to one another--the effect is not so much of a sampling as of a suite. Of all the remarkable things about Binocular Vision, this may be the most compelling, that it enacts a worldview in thirty-four precise and subtle movements, reminding us that if connection is elusive, there is nobility in perseverance, and that we are almost always greater than the sum of our parts." --David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
"Binocular Vision should be the book with which Edith Pearlman casts off her secret-handshake status and takes up her rightful position as a national treasure. Put her stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That's where they belong." --from the introduction by Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto
"Edith Pearlman is an absolute master of the form: these are stories that abjure tricks and flash for brilliantly drawn characters, classic construction, and language that sings and aches all at once." --T. C. Boyle, author of When the Killing's Done
"The stories in Binocular Vision demonstrate Edith Pearlman's astonishing range -- her curiosity and highly empathetic intelligence squire the reader through a marvelous variety of physical and psychological landscapes. But the collection also reveals the lovely common denominator of her fiction, a buoyant grace, which she gently exhorts us to recognize in everyday life." --Chris Adrian, author of The Great Night
"Edith Pearlman is a master of the short story . . . and we're lucky to have Binocular Vision, this generous book of new and selected stories. Pearlman's characters . . . are complicated, fully alive. You can't stop reading,because you know they'll astonish you on the very next page." --Alice Mattison, author of Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn
"A new book by Edith Pearlman is always cause for celebration, and this is doubly so in the case of her Binocular Vision. Some of these stories are new to me, and some are old favorites, but all of them are witty and wise; all of them allow readers to live in a world that is like theirs, except brighter and word-happier. Binocular Vision is a major, glorious book from one of our most important and (until now) overlooked fiction writers." --Brock Clarke, author of Exley --Brock Clarke, author of Exley
"In a world where volume is often prized over what's actually been said, and the death of the short story is treated as a perennial topic, it is a great comfort to know there are writers like Edith Pearlman, who works outside the noise and writes alongside Chekhov and Frank O'Connor and other master storytellers. Pearlman's characters are intensely aware of the world around and within them, and her gaze into their worlds is both sympathetic and critical. With a lucid perception of unchanging and unchangable human nature, Pearlman presents, without easy quirks or facile pretense, a fantastical world made of people like you and me. Please enter and rejoice." --Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants --Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants
"So many lives seethe inside this book! It's a city, a country, a world, rendered in devastating detail and delivered from one woman's sparkling and rare imagination. If you read, write, or teach short fiction -- if you believe gorgeous, scrupulously made literature nourishes the soul -- then you must read Edith Pearlman." --Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall
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