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Starred Review. National Book Award–finalist Thompson (for Who Do You Love) delivers a deeply affecting collection that elevates the quotidian to the sublime. In the title story, Julia, a young woman œembarrassed for œpeople [who] talked about guardian angels or spirit guides, visits a psychic after her boyfriend dies. Faced with the ability to access the world beyond, she recoils sharply. The collection goes on to explore a bewildering array of experience, from a young wife denying her husband's white-collar crimes in œLiberty Tax to the concerned neighbor of œLittle Brown Bird who is powerless to help a little girl being molested by her father. In œEscape, a man who has suffered a stroke finds himself at the mercy of his increasingly abusive wife. Determined to get away from her, he's pleasantly shocked when she solves his problem in a way he never counted on. Thompson immerses readers in details and emotions so consuming and convincing that the inane vagaries of modern life can take on near mythic importance. This collection shows the confidence and power of a writer in her prime. (June)
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"Thompson...delivers a deeply affecting collection that elevates the quotidian to the sublime....explore[s] a bewildering array of experience...Thompson immerses readers in details and emotions so consuming and convincing that the inane vagaries of modern life can take on near mythic importance. This collection shows the confidence and power of a writer in her prime." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"[Thompson's] particular grace...may be that her language and approach at first seem so straightforward that it's only partway through reading a story that, like one of her characters, we experience the surprise of a new world unfolding from the ordinary....twilit, elegiac...downright funny, too...Reviewing such a remarkable writer, one's own words can seem too ordinary, but Thompson's talent is such that it can overcome even those limitations." -- Booklist, Starred Review
"I don't deny it. I didn't know Jean Thompson's short fiction until I began reading this new volume of a dozen stories -- and didn't stop. Move over, Alice Munro, this gifted writer now sits in my mind near the throne of the short-story queens and kings of old. She is a master of dialogue, character, pacing and plot, and -- anyone who loves the form will have to cheer about this...Thompson employs spare, plain language, whose rhythms she assembles appropriately for various occasions." -- Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
"[In] Jean Thompson's immensely satisfying new collection...emotional movement is small but powerful....The prose brims with unforced insight." -- Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times
"[Thompson's] latest collection, Do Not Deny Me, is compelling, funny, thought-provoking.... Thompson is an astute observer of the pitfalls of contemporary life, how it isolates and challenges, how it brings out one's worst and best. Her clear-eyed, thought-provoking stories highlight rare, precious moments of grace even as she wisely notes the human tendency toward selfishness, pettiness and general bad behavior." -- Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald
"Thompson...takes us to a disturbing place in this darkly beautiful collection of short stories...Enthusiastically recommended." -- Library Journal
"The experiences of ordinary people...are precisely depicted in this fifth collection from the increasingly accomplished Thompson...who wields illuminating quotidian details and stunningly apt clichés with lethal skill, demonstrates how closely their desires and disappointments parallel and echo our own....Wonderful work from a contemporary master of scrupulous observation, plain statement and unvarnished common sense." -- Kirkus
"[Thompson's] at home anywhere and everywhere. She's at home in the skins of women and men, young and old, losers and winners, tyrants and victims, flakes and dupes and dopes and geniuses and soldiers and bikers and moms. Her characters hail from small towns and big cities. In her sparkling and sometimes heartbreaking short stories...Thompson channels all kinds of personalities, but she does it so artfully, with such supple, unaffected grace." -- Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Thompson takes tragic, ordinary figures and lifts them to the sublime in prose that's often as funny as it is sad." -- Jeanne Kolker, Wisconsin State Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Just stories of regular people dealing with life, interesting, compassionate, and full of real life.I'll be looking for more of the same soon.Published on November 24, 2012 by Emily Ann
I love short stories, and am always glad to read a new author. I haven't read any other works of Jean Thompson, so I can't say anything about how this book of stories ranks in her... Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by N. B. Kennedy
Like O. Henry, who ended many of his most famous stories with a melodramatic revelation, Thompson tends to cap each of hers with a psychological one. Read morePublished on April 14, 2012 by D. Cloyce Smith
I have read Jean Thompson's short stories in other books and did not enjoy them as much as DO NOT DENY ME.
Her characterizations are intuitive and identifiable. Read more
This latest collection of Ms. Thompson's short stories is almost a disappointment, as it's somewhat uneven. Read morePublished on September 11, 2010 by Keith Otis Edwards
Thompson's short stories are beautifully simple; her narrative capture little windows into the lives of completely ordinary people, ordinary incidents, and makes the reader... Read morePublished on May 25, 2010 by Kalera Stratton
Do Not Deny Me is a collection of short stories that are structured so tightly and intimately that you can read through the entire book in one evening, like I did. Read morePublished on March 17, 2010 by A*
This is the first I've read of Jean Thompson, and I think I'm in love. What a perfect title: I felt sated at the end of each story and yet couldn't put down the book. Read morePublished on March 5, 2010 by M. J. Cotner
Thompson's collection of short stories are hit and miss.
Soldiers of Spiritos is a unimaginative portrait of two lonely people-an aging professor and mediocre student,... Read more