A new story collection from the author of Binocular Vision, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award.
Over the past several decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the great practitioners of the short story. Her incomparable vision, consummate skill, and bighearted spirit have earned her consistent comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and Frank O'Connor. This latest collection of twenty new stories is an occasion for celebration.
Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the true excitement comes from the evocation of the interior lives of young Emily Knapp, who wishes she were a bug, and her inner circle. The Golden Swan transports listeners to a cruise ship with lavish buffets-and a surprise stowaway-while the lead story, Tenderfoot, follows a widowed pedicurist searching for love with a new customer anguishing over his own buried trauma. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with unsurpassed generosity.