In The Angel Esmeralda, DeLillo finds the freedom to represent the wide range of human experience in contemporary America -- and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadows lurking in the background. His characters are exposed to their own deep, often unconscious, longings: one man exploits the vulnerability of a woman he's just met, following ...
In The Angel Esmeralda, DeLillo finds the freedom to represent the wide range of human experience in contemporary America -- and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadows lurking in the background. His characters are exposed to their own deep, often unconscious, longings: one man exploits the vulnerability of a woman he's just met, following her home to her apartment and pushing her too far; another finds himself deceiving his wife and beginning an affair. They are subjected to shocking violations, unexpected acts of terror: a woman lives in constant fear of the earthquakes happening all around her; people bear witness to the mysterious abduction of a child from a small park by a stranger. No matter whether he is focused upon the slums of New York or astronauts in orbit around the earth, DeLillo chooses not to turn away from the unsettling manner in which humans are often brought together, or the disquieting truth behind their emotional interactions. DeLillo's world is a timeless present, eerily perceptive and prophetic, in which he creates powerful stories of lust and obsession, of loss and remorse, of grief and ecstasy. For those unfamiliar with his work, this intense and articulate collection offers a wonderful introduction to one of America's greatest living writers. For those already acquainted, it will be a thrilling and significant addition.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-09-26 The nine short stories of DeLillo's first-ever collection span 30 years. Grouped around three historical moments and ranging in subject and setting from an earthquake in Athens to a snowbound college town, they offer both a compact way to observe the evolution of DeLillo's writing and a highly palatable entree into the work of the National Book Award winner (for White Noise) for the uninitiated. "Human Moments in World War III" features two Americans manning an orbital intelligence-gathering craft who begin receiving old-time radio signals while considering humanity at war; "war, among other things, is a form of longing." In the title story, two nuns in the South Bronx encounter the near-feral Esmeralda Lopez, who, for a brief time, is transfigured into a rallying symbol for the impoverished community. And in "Hammer and Sickle," a white-collar criminal in a minimum-security facility watches his two young daughters deliver financial news on a children's program. DeLillo's keen interest in the human experience of American historical and cultural moments is on clear display, and his full expressive range-from steady spareness (sometimes verging on disorienting frigidity) to roguish attitude and tender intimacy-is showcased well. While there aren't any surprises, this is a welcome addition to DeLillo's oeuvre for fans and newcomers alike. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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