In each of these 14 stories, Dubus uncovers the mysteries of ordinary life as his characters wrestle with love, faith, and luck--often perseverant, yet occasionally crazed by desire, loss, or disappointment. Featuring his characteristic resonant prose, rendered with perception and compassion, this collection--Dubus' first in nearly ten years--is a ...
In each of these 14 stories, Dubus uncovers the mysteries of ordinary life as his characters wrestle with love, faith, and luck--often perseverant, yet occasionally crazed by desire, loss, or disappointment. Featuring his characteristic resonant prose, rendered with perception and compassion, this collection--Dubus' first in nearly ten years--is a literary achievement which combines great artistry and singular humanity.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-01-01 Dubus's (Broken Vessels) first story collection in nearly a decade centers around the concerns that have informed all his writing: spirituality, Catholicism, adultery, love and the difficult attempt to sustain it through marriage and family-and, more broadly, the ways lives can suddenly change, sometimes with sudden cruelty, sometimes with grace. Two stories among the 14 here are particularly fine; both gain resonance from the way Dubus's own life was affected by a tragic accident. They are ``The Colonel's Wife,'' about a retired Marine whose relationship with his wife is altered in complex and surprising ways after he breaks both his legs when his horse falls; and the magnificent title story, which concerns a man turned into a quadriplegic by a freak diving mishap, but whose continued zest for life helps bring other people together. Also very strong are the four stories that chronicle the lives of Ted Briggs and LuAnn Arceneaux, and their love for one another, by portraying their lives before they've met and tracing them through a decade of marriage. Dubus's material can be seen as either slightly old-fashioned or as timeless, particularly since he is unapologetically concerned with the spiritual and religious health of his characters. Hopefully, this collection will serve to introduce this important and consistently fine writer to the wider audience he has always deserved. (Feb.)
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