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Bet They'll Miss Us When We're Gone: Stories Hardcover – May, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060161396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060161392
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,257,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Powerful, idiosyncratic voices commanding immediately felt emotions distinguish nearly all 13 stories in Wiggins's ( John Dollar ) second collection . Most moving are the tales told by old people--a man struggles to recall the words that will summon up his memory of a friend in "A Cup of Jo"; a recent widower in "Balloons 'n' Tunes" frets angrily with a neighbor while trying to accommodate his wife's last wishes and accept her absence; a woman in "Shibboletboo" remembers the childhood cruelty that precipated the muteness of a recently deceased neighbor. Loss and its imminence permeate all these stories by Wiggins, who went into hiding when her then-husband, Salman Rushdie, was targeted for assassination by Islamic radicals. In "Croeso I Gymru," the narrator named Marianne, "on the lam in Wales" with her husband, tries to assimilate the unfamiliar customs and language as a way to combat fear. and helplessness. Often unfettered by conventional spelling or diction, Wiggins's stories take us directly to the hearts of her characters, displaying an imposing talent.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 13 probing, nontraditional narratives, the author of John Dollar ( LJ 1/89) explores loss and realization, shifting with admirable facility among locales and distinctive voices. Her overt fascination with language and languages dominates the look and sound of several stories: she coins words and spellings to communicate her speakers' diverse regional dialects and racial contexts, and uses wordplay to express intangibles--the relationship between counting and death, the diminishing of an old man's mind. At times the cleverness obscures the substance of the stories, but Wiggins's provocative articulation of ideas and the almost painful immediacy of her loquacious, present-tense narrative voices will keep thoughtful readers challenged and entertained. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/91.)-- Janet Ingraham, Spartanburg Cty. P.L., S.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The short stories in Bet They'll Miss Us When We're Gone carry a variety of international themes, from Greek to American, with characters written in differing accents and viewpoints. This may be attributed to the authors residence in London, a city filled with immigrants and migrants from places around the world. The characters unique positions offer the reader trips through their worlds, once in the mind of a greek grandmother, then in the mind of a middle aged middle-Eastern gambler. If nothing else, each story is certainly a change from the one before it.
There are thirteen short stories in the book, most written in a free-flowing hand, lacking a lot of punctuation. I found Wiggins' style easy to follow, and high-energy, though I often missed the traditional sense of beginning and ending in the plots. Though I was entertained while reading this book, I wondered where the author expected the reader to land at the end of each story.
I would recommend this book to Wiggins' fans, and to those seeking a bit of flare.
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