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Self Portraits: Fictions Hardcover – September 13, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by the stories the author read to his possibly illiterate Sicilian grandmother as a child, these nested narratives are told by couples traveling through hallucinatory, romantic landscapes. As the traveler in "Self Portrait with Sicily" rides a train through the Bronx, boundaries between worlds, geography, and generations blur, transporting him through Sicily and the rural landscape of his Nonna. On a honeymoon in Spain, the narrator of "Self Portrait with Bullfight" decides that "forbearance" is the key to a lasting marriage and proceeds to try the patience of his new bride with a long-winded tale of the "frisson of rivalry" between two youths vying for the attentions of a Gypsy woman. In "Self Portrait with Cheese," an allegory about a family of bears that flees the circus only to languish, bored, in their freedom, offers a convoluted fable about the needs of artists. Tuten's (The Green Hour) polished stories of beauty, longing, and loss are relatable, yet strange enough that they constantly pique.
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About the Author

Frederic Tuten is the author of Tintin in the New World, The Green Hour, and Self Portraits, among other fiction. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Writing. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (September 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393079058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393079050
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony S. Keys on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this . I think it's one of Frederic Tuten's best. Well worth reading!
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Format: Hardcover
I had not opened this book in a long while and when I did, to re-read it, I was staggered by the physical structure of the narrative and the dreamy quality of the stories. But the best struck me like a hot stabbing blade, and that is the first story, "Voyagers." It alone is worth the price of the book. It tells of a writer's mind not always on the present planet, of those who dream and act on their dreams. The story opens a strange door on the book's strange ordinary world. Frederic Tuten deserves vast prizes for that story.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Self-Portraits: Fictions" is a book of 12 short literary stories by Frederic Tuten. Each story shifted around in time and place and between reality and fantasy with no warning, so it was hard to tell what was going on (especially for a linear thinker like me). The characters tended to say philosophical-sounding things, so I had the feeling that there was supposed to be some deeper meaning to it all. However, I couldn't make sense of it so I decided to simply read it as a series of quirky tales. While I liked the author's writing, I'm not a good match for his style.

There was a very minor amount of bad language. Sex was implied. Overall, if the short story descriptions sound appealing to you, then you'll probably enjoy the book.

I received this book as an unrequested review copy.

Reviewed by Debbie from Genre Reviews
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