Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Halloween

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: $9.99

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

Touchy Subjects: Stories Kindle Edition

12 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 292 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

See Me by Nicholas Sparks
"See Me" by Nicholas Sparks
Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, See Me reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize. Learn more | See more from the author

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In contrast to previous books focused on feminist retellings of fairy tales (Kissing the Witch) and revisionist imaginings of historical and folkloric female figures (The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits), Irish writer Donoghue's latest, a set of 19 witty tales, remains firmly planted in Ireland's present. Divided into five sections—"Babies," "Domesticity," "Strangers," "Desire," "Death"—the book has one unifying theme: the characters' constant need for revision—of assumptions, perceptions and expectations—in light of new information. In "Expecting," a woman re-evaluates her maternal instincts when a stranger misinterprets her condition. Elsewhere, a heartbroken young woman uses a trip abroad to indulge her fantasies of being Catherine Deneuve or Isadora Duncan, but discovers true healing in a more unlikely incarnation. In "The Sanctuary of Hands," a bitter, washed-up writer finds true genius during his yearlong residency, but not in the way he expected. Throughout, Donoghue offers deadpan asides about the trappings of the recent boom times in Ireland. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The author of the well-received novel Slammerkin (2001) exhibits adeptness in the short story form in this collection of 19 tales that, without a hint of pretension but with wisdom extending far beyond the placidness of her prose style, isolates aspects of a character or a moment of revelation for a character. Donoghue, who was born Irish, then became a longtime British resident, and now lives in Canada, observes telling differences in certain people's domestic arrangements (you're using your best friend's husband as a sperm donor), carefully pries open individual circumstances within the universal circumstance of experiencing growing pains (you're a good athlete, your father is the coach, and you come to realize you're gay), and shows sensitivity to personal reactions to relatively ordinary circumstances (you're a tourist, and you've gotten "two-thirds of a day behind on [your] itinerary"). Her stories find secure footing where poignancy and humor intersect, and their geniality will prove an asset to librarians encouraging readers exclusively devoted to the novel to--come on--try some short stories. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1620 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (May 7, 2007)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2007
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,176 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the bestselling "Slammerkin," "The Sealed Letter," "Landing," "Life Mask," "Hood," and "Stirfry." Her story collections are "The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits," "Kissing the Witch," and "Touchy Subjects." She also writes literary history, and plays for stage and radio. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two small children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Monika Matthews VINE VOICE on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm not actually a fan of short stories at all. They typically don't let you get into the heart of a character enough to make it worthwhile. Frequently they lack any character development at all. Not so with Donoghue's stories. She pulls you in to her characters and leaves you wanting more, but not feeling denied. I was pleasantly surprised.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Bestselling Irish native Emma Donoghue (SLAMMERKIN) delivers a top-notch collection of 19 short stories featuring a variety of everyday characters caught in the middle of the unexpected. On the surface, each offering is grouped according to one of five themes: Babies, Domesticity, Strangers, Desire, and Death. On a deeper level, these broadly defined boundaries intersect throughout many of the stories, as they often do in reality, creating a series of snapshots that are both unique and true to life.

Although there isn't a dud in her bunch, Donoghue shines most brightly when confronting issues of sex and gender. As seen in some of her previous works (HOOD, LIFE MASK), the trajectory of unrequited homosexual love is aptly explored here in moments that are so vulnerable and pure that they virtually explode with unresolved tension. In "Speaking in Tongues," a long-held thirst is finally quenched yet ultimately discarded after 17-year-old-Lee and 34-year-old poetess Sylvia have a one-night stand in the back of Sylvia's van. In "Team Men," two football players have a brief affair and must navigate the consequences when one wants to come out publicly and the other doesn't. Both stories highlight the rawness of desire and the inevitable heartbreak that occurs when separate wants can't (or don't) align.

Along similar lines, "The Cost of Things" and "The Man Who Wrote on Beaches" focus on two very different pairs and their shared inability to see eye to eye. In "The Cost of Things," a seemingly unbreakable relationship implodes after the two involved can't agree on how much their kitten's life (i.e. their relationship) is worth.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In typical fashion, Donoghue adds a touch of irony to the title story, "Touchy Subjects", a thirty-eight-year old woman resorting to artificial means to accomplish pregnancy; the complications, while hilarious, are perfectly awful, a testament to the author's penchant for seeing beyond the surface of our encounters with destiny. It is in the nature of these stories to observe the characters through a series of transitions, captured in five stages: Babies, Domesticity, Strangers, Desire and Death. The stories are related in a chronology of relationships: Babies about tentative beginnings, the impulses that alter the course of a life ("Expecting", "The Man Who Wrote on Beaches"); Domesticity unveils more advanced relationships, people caught in the complexities of daily frustrations, decisions and miscommunications, the small irritations that once were endearing now wearing thin, expectations denied, the infinite grinding down of hopes into less than what was anticipated ("Lavender's Blue", "The Cost of Things").

Strangers portends escape into more neutral territory, breaking from habit to find respite in another place, at least temporarily, exposing personal conceits, characters shocked into personal insights ("The Sanctuary of Hands", WritOr"); Desire speaks for itself, of yearning and angst and disappointment ("Speaking in Tongues", The Welcome"); and finally, Death, endings and sometimes beginnings, perceptions turned upside down by reality and the need to adapt to changed circumstances ("The Dormition of the Virgin", "Enchantment').
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By lenkalotte on April 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
is a short story collection by Emma Donoghue, whose work I really, really like.

I like her humor and the melancholy touch a lot of her work has. Her characters always feel very real, they have flaws and ups and downs.

This collection includes stories she has gathered under the headings babies, domesticity, desire and death. The characters come from all walks of life, background etc. (if you're looking for a collection of all-lesbian stories this isn't it). As with all collections I liked some stories better than others but I enjoyed them all.

My favorite stories are "Touchy Subjects", the story of a single woman and her best friend's husband meeting in a hotel room to make a baby and "The Welcome", which takes place in an all-woman housing co-op.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on April 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Touchy Subjects, is the title, and they are!

As my reading partner put it, "Nothing seems too odd or too off limits for her to write about - AND rope us into. I guess once you have written about a woman who churns out rabbits, you can handle just about any topic."

Emma's former book of short stories, The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits, gets its title from the lead story, which is about a.... [go figure!] woman who feined giving birth to rabbits!

That book was excellent too, but this new one is even better.

Touchy Subjects: Babies, Domesticity, Strangers, Desire, and Death, and the stories found in each of these categories stay very centered around these themes.

These are nineteen deeply rich tales of the joys and struggles [mostly struggles] of love relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual. And familial. And marital. Of friendships platonic and otherwise.

Of people reaching toward self-identity. Sometimes finding it, sometimes not.

I think that Emma Donoghue is "eccentric" in the best sense of the word.

Unconventional, slightly strange, and just off kilter enough to show her readers that they are the same!

That none of our lives are simple, or even normal. Her stories reveal a world full of ambiguities and contradictions, which is exactly the world any truly living person experiences.

She can take the most common of occurences [a woman looking at a clothes rack, a man writing phrases in the sand, someone looking absently and curiously through a woman's cosmetic case, a couple deciding upon the exact shade their house ought to be painted, the love of our pets, a 42-year old woman wanting to bear a child]....
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?