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Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived: Stories

Tuck, Lily

83 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0066209420 / ISBN 13: 9780066209425
Published by Harper, U.S.A., 2001
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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RARE Advance Reading Copy-Uncorrected Proof-Not For Sale. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full # Line. Trade Paperback Format. New copy. Never read. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book & Cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 002323

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived: ...

Publisher: Harper, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Lily Tuck understands that emotional transformations cannot-and should not -- be easily explained. In her elegant and penetrating first collection, Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived, Tuck offers a portrait of the subtle shifts that can render the accommodations we make to our lives or to our partners suddenly impossible.

Tuck's characters are in the midst of a composed yet profound rebellion, the basis of which is a growing estrangement from the self, a need to return to some fundamental truth whose discovery, as often as not, will force significant change. These characters travel to unknown, exotic places, and, while there, find themselves deeply immersed in observation-of the natives of the locality, of the local customs, of the foreign landscape -- in an effort to discern some elemental truth about who they themselves are. Yet rather than see the self reflected back clear as rainwater, these women meet instead with disorientation, confusion; they are disappointed by the people closest to them -- lovers, husbands, members of their families.

Tuck is a writer of such grace and understatement that one does not immediately recognize the piercing psychological acuity and deftness of her observations. Her characters are full of poignant yearning and guarded optimism, of unwavering honesty, even in the face of painful disappointment or physical chaos. It is the elements of pain and confusion that bring these women back to themselves in precisely the way they need to be; to the sometimes heartbreaking but finally optimistic realization that the answers they seek lie not in other people, or places, but rather within themselves. Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived is a brilliant collection from a writer of exceptional poise and insight.


In Lily Tuck's lovely story collection Limbo and Other Places I Have Lived, the characters are never at home. She captures them at moments of discomfort: on vacation, living abroad, in exile. Tuck is right to gather her stories around the theme of place, for she's adept at capturing the way geography acquires meaning. In "Gold Leaf," Amy, an American teenager, goes to stay with a Swiss family for the summer. The daughter of the house leads Amy on a walk into an unfamiliar landscape, and into a thrilling glimpse of adulthood. In "Hotter," the narrator and her husband tour the forbidding reaches of Angkor Wat as she considers her unwanted pregnancy. And in "La Mayonette," an American family takes a house in the south of France. As they try on French life like a costume, the mother feels drawn to Didier, a family friend. Tuck's language is quiet, direct, and spare. She knows the evocative power of her exotic locales, and she lets our own associations do the heavy lifting. This writing is intelligently restrained and beautiful. --Claire Dederer

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