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Comment: Algonquin Books; 2013; 8.10 X 5.60 X 1 inches; Paperback; Very Good+; Light cover wear; 256 Pages
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Bobcat and Other Stories Paperback – June 11, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616201738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616201739
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: How do you judge a short story collection? By its consistency? How often you laugh? Or by the number of times it breaks your heart? With Bobcat and Other Stories, the answer to the last question is seven, which is the number of stories that make up Rebecca Lee's first short story collection (and hopefully far from her last). The title story is perhaps the best example of what Lee does best. An innocuous dinner party reveals to the narrator that her marriage is disintegrating (or were those signs always there?). She says her honeymoon "haunted our marriage a little, mostly because it was a little sad for reasons I couldn't comprehend and felt I shouldn't disturb." Bobcat is a tricky balancing act. Lee has a knack for nuance, but never lets her subtlety dull the emotional punch. Even as her characters wrestle with tragic internal dilemmas, there's a distinct sense of humor that perseveres throughout. Bobcat and Other Stories is one of the strongest collections I've read in recent years. --Kevin Nguyen

From Booklist

Lee follows her superb first novel, The City Is a Rising Tide (2006), with an equally arresting and distinctive short story collection, in which her global perspective engenders strange encounters. The arch and clawing title story, though fastened to the well-worn armature of a Manhattan dinner party, zooms out in myriad directions as a woman describes losing a limb to a bobcat in Nepal, and the pregnant hostess worries about a coworker’s affair. Intrigued by the life-altering reverberations of hubris, friendship, marriage, class clashes, and betrayal, Lee, herself like a great cat in her stealth, speed, and slashing attacks, takes on academe in several mind-whirling stories, including one set in 1987 in which an act of plagiarism ignites a peculiar, heartrending alliance between a hazy-minded student and her professor, a Polish immigrant accused of being a “Soviet puppet.” In “Min,” an American college student accompanies her friend to Hong Kong, where he will join his father in working with Vietnamese refugees and enter into an arranged marriage. Lee’s gorgeously crafted, scintillating stories are imaginative and incisive, funny and profound. --Donna Seaman

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Customer Reviews

The author has great character development and engaging story lines.
RandyF
The writing is richly descriptive and captures many nuances and layers of thought and meaning in each of the stories.
she treads softly
If you are a fan of Alice Munro and enjoy short stories, I recommend this collection by Rebecca Lee.
Shari Morehead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By she treads softly on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee is a collection of seven short stories. The stories included are: Bobcat; Banks of the Vistula; Slatland; Min; World Party; Fialta; Settlers.
"Bobcat," the opening story, features a dinner party that foreshadows some unexpected results and entertains doubts about the veracity of more than one guest's story.
In "Banks of the Vistula" a student plagiarist is known but not quite revealed.
"Slatland" has a character who encounters the same therapist twice in her life under very different circumstances.
A young woman helps find a suitable spouse for her male best friend in "Min".
In "World Party" a committee composed of peers must rule on the behavior of another professor.
During a summer retreat at "Fialta" student architects learn more about life than academics.
The closing story, "Settlers," features close friends over several dinner parties, culminating in one unforgettable one.

All of these stories feature characters who are well educated. Many are involved in academia as students or professors. Lee's stories are all told from a first-person perspective as they delve into juxtaposed contrasting themes involving faithfulness, friendship, security, apathy, honesty, and relationships. The writing is richly descriptive and captures many nuances and layers of thought and meaning in each of the stories. Often it felt like what was at the edge of being said or revealed was looming over the seemingly everyday conversations between the characters.

In several cases, as I reached the end of a story I was filled with a sense of melancholy.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Burgoine on September 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I make no secret my love of short fiction, and I see the battle short fiction authors face with the reading audience at large: "Oh, I don't like short stories." It's a sweeping dismissal and it can leave you hard pressed to find a new opening through which to pass an opportunity for a reader to discover the richness found in truly wonderful short fiction.

"Bobcat and other stories" is one such collection of truly wonderful short fiction.

The stories have a beautiful balance of narrative to them; tales are told, but in the perfect style for short fiction, where you see the piece in such a way as to allow the reader to infer the whole, and not feel shortchanged. The language flows. Even as the stories progress, each in a different first person, the voices manage to both change and provide a background counterpoint that has a commonality throughout. Lee is on an equal caliber as Munro, to my mind, and that's some of the highest praise I can give to a short fiction author.

I adored "Bobcat and other stories." I tried to pace myself, and forced myself to pause between each story, and even then only made it through a single day, evening, and following morning with the book. I look forward to more Lee.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Shari Morehead on March 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been on a short story collection kick lately, and thoroughly enjoying the change of pace. Bobcat and Other Short Stories by Rebecca Lee is a collection of six skillfully-written stories that engaged me to varying degrees. The short story, "Fialto" also won a National Magazine Award for fiction.

The first one, "Bobcat", was my favorite followed by "Slatland". Bobcat sets the scene at a New York dinner party and you are merely a fly on the wall -- an uncomfortable fly at that. Awkwardness ensues, as the host frets about her terrine when there are much larger issues looming in front of her nose. Slatland is about a woman in therapy with an unconventional psychologist as they both try to deduce whether or not her fiancee is receiving Romanian letters from a wife or a sister.

The stories are very highbrow and intellectual, revolving around universities and the well-educated. Rebecca Lee has a keen eye and the observations that are reflected in the short stories contain both wit and sass. The prose and dialogue are finely crafted, although I felt like the stories were weighted differently -- I found myself drawn to some much more than others.

If you are a fan of Alice Munro and enjoy short stories, I recommend this collection by Rebecca Lee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judy Stead on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank you, Rebecca Lee.
I will never look at a building again without superimposing a first pencil sketch of its intention in my minds eye.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lot on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe that Rebecca's stories have a way of touching everyone. For me it was the one on plagiary. I did that one time in College because I was on overload. I was never discovered, got an A on the paper and had to keep up my reputation of being a great student for the rest of the semester. Still feel guilty about it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Speedreader on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is such a special collection of stories. I was in love from the first story all the way to the last. I read the book while traveling and it made me so happy even through turbulence, small planes and crying children. Rebecca Lee is such a talented writer her stories are sophisticated, layered, funny at times, crisp and wise. Strongly encourage other customers to purchase this book This is the first review I've ever given on Amazon-I am that passionate about the book...I wanted to let other people know about it.
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