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The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg Paperback – March 30, 2010
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“One of America's finest storytellers has been anthologized: The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (Picador) locates elegant symmetries in uncertain lives navigating uncertain times.” ―VOGUE.com
“Sarcastic, self-aware, and often wickedly funny…. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Eisenberg's stories is the ease with which she captures the fearful excitement of being human, and our reluctance to acknowledge how little our circumstances have to do with our own decisions.” ―Rachael Brown, TheAtlantic.com
“If you haven't discovered Deborah Eisenberg's beautifully crafted short stories, this is a good choice, because you will want to read and reread them all. These stories are rich and delicate, and linger in the memory to shift and amplify their values. Eisenberg's subtle, intelligent observations put readers in the best company.” ―Prairie Lights Bookstore
“What is it like to be a genius? Ask Deborah Eisenberg. The question is not as hyperbolic as it might seem; last year, Eisenberg was awarded a MacArthur fellowship, usually referred to as a ‘Genius Grant'. If that award served to spotlight Eisenberg's achievement as one of America's foremost writers of fiction, this new volume of collected stories confirms it, illustrating that over the past 25 years Eisenberg has become better and better at the things at which, 25 years ago, she was already something of a master….” ―Belinda McKeon, Irish Times
“This season, I chose four books of stories to read and recommend. At the top of my list--and highly recommended--is The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg.” ―Ann LaFarge, Hudson Valley News
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Top Customer Reviews
She's limited because she's not much on plot, if she can be said to have plots at all. This makes her writing go slack at times, almost as if she's marking time because she doesn't know where her narrative is heading. At her worst, she seems to stall with her characters, but after a few pages she gets them going again. Eisenberg is like Alice Munro in that she writes "long short stories" about characters who are similar. Munro is a better plotter, meaning she keeps her stories moving at a brisker pace. On the other hand, she doesn't quite have Eisenberg's Proustian vision into the personal worlds of her characters. Among contemporary writers, Eisenberg seems unique in this regard.
This is my first exposure to her fiction but it won't be my last. As a writer of short fiction, she is the equal or superior of any writer of short fiction today, and I include my longtime favorites Alice Munro and William Trevor. At 980 pages of stories, this compendium is a chunk. The reader who attempts to conquer it through brute force will be doing him or herself a disfavor. Eisenberg's stories deserve time and space between readings so the full shock value isn't attenuated.
The sections are, respectively, the four separate collections previously published of her stories.Read more ›
Eisenberg's stories aren't the minimalist sort that has gained so much traction in recent decades - her prose are weighty, the word bulky comes to mind. Many feel as if they might well be novels, yet the don't have the stripped down feel of other such stories - one doesn't get the sense of characters imprisoned by an author's commitment to the form, as if the shortness of the length were walls which they can't claw through to get to their real potential. No, Eisenberg's characters breathe in the moment.
Her stories, usually on the longish side at thirty plus pages, would rather meander a bit, often down tangents letting the reader gain an attachment to the character in a way that other practitioners of this form tend to eschew. As such they deliver a feeling of a being on a journey, the emotional baggage and humor giving them a heft which rests not on a single word or moment, no it is the flow of her character's relationships that carry the reader along, pulling us in their interior lives. As such, each story can at times feel exhausting, an emotional investment, making this collection a thing to be sipped, not gobbled, almost 1,000 page of prose to be digested slowly over weeks and months not hours, less one be left totally spent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In case anyone missed it, Deborah Eisenberg is one of the writers who objected to the PEN Foundation honoring the Charlie Hebdo magazine writers, artists and staff who were... Read morePublished 1 month ago by SFDolceVita
Short story queen, not afraid of innovation. An inspiration.Published 4 months ago by Orange Shelves
Interesting, well crafted modern stories. Eisenberg has an amazing ability to take what could be construed as triteness and elevate it to poetic angst.Published 14 months ago by Fran Fawcett Peterson
Deborah Eisenberg is the Meryl Streep of writers. She may not have greater life experience than any other author, but she has enormous powers of observation and an uncanny... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Bartolo
I generally don't like to make absolute statements, but it would take a lot to convince me that Deborah Eisenberg isn't the best fiction writer working today, at least in the... Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt
Bought this book after seeing Deborah Eisenberg and Wallace Shawn in The Designated Mourner. He characters are so human it's almost painful. Read morePublished on August 30, 2013 by J. Barker
Deborah Eisenberg's stories are always nuanced, brilliant, and deeply humane. Frequently they are hilarious and often they are exquisitely painful. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by caroline rody
Deborah Eisenberg is in a class by herself. I won't finnish a story as it is too delicious and I don't want it to end.Published on February 3, 2013 by Barbara Glazier