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Venus in the Afternoon (Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction) Paperback – October 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press (October 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574414666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574414660
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,728,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lieberman’s collection won the 2012 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in short fiction and, like the work of the award’s namesake, Venus in the Afternoon deals with the dark themes of loss and death. A young widow struggles to raise her infant son; a father yearns for a relationship with his estranged daughter; a husband succumbs to grief over his dying wife. Like all the best short story writers, Lieberman has a gift for immediately drawing readers into the narrative and then bringing each tale to a satisfying, if frequently ambiguous, conclusion. Her endings actually feel like whispered hopes or sighs. Setting is all but irrelevant in these character-driven pieces, which lends the stories greater universality and emotional power. Ultimately, the thread holding these exquisitely crafted, self-contained dramas together is a similarity of tone—mournful, with just enough light to rescue the book from utter gloom. There is love here and a sense of happiness that was or may yet be as Lieberman reminds us that sadness and joy are often inextricably entwined. --Patty Wetli

Review

“A bountiful, confident book. Tehila Lieberman trusts her readers to discover that these carefully wrought stories about love, loss, illness, betrayal, all the stuff of life—are also about destiny, and the impossibility of avoiding your fate.”—Edith Pearlman, author of Binocular Vision, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction


“Quiet, moving, masterfully crafted. Such are the nine stories in Venus in the Afternoon. Tehila Lieberman writes with precision, restraint, with a compassionate heart. She inhabits her characters, young or old, men or women, honestly, but without judgment, until they rise off the page and stand before us breathing and alive. New York, the Atacama desert, Amsterdam or Cuzco in Peru, the settings in Venus in the Afternoon are just as varied as the lives which they contain. A wonderful collection, one that will stay in your mind long after you have bid it goodbye.” —Miroslav Penkov, author of East of the West and judge


“Having taught college students many contemporary short stories, I can attest to the power of this collection: Tehila Lieberman’s extraordinary use of language I get lost in, her words that stir my senses … ‘the smell of honeysuckle in the untended gardens that offer up flowers, voluptuous, bursting, grass that reaches, snake-like, upward, weaving quietly between people’s quarrels and midday naps.’ (‘Into the Atacama’). These stories are to be read with pleasure, with awe.”—Carol Dine, author of Van Gogh in Poems


“Tehila Lieberman's Venus in the Afternoon is a stunning collection; beautifully written and emotionally compelling in ways that leave the reader spellbound.  Again and again, she explores the intricate webs of society and finds the most fragile and vulnerable threads that tether lives together while never losing sight of the individual human heart.”—Jill McCorkle, author of Going Away Shoes


"Each story in Tehila Lieberman's collection takes the reader on a journey to new and unexpected territory. This is a consistently surprising and satisfying collection."—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others


“In luxuriant prose that seduces as it surprises, Tehila Lieberman traverses that perilous territory we call love with a keen eye and a generous heart. These are stories that tell the truth—and they do it beautifully."—Joan Leegant, author of An Hour in Paradise and Wherever You Go


"I'm in love with Lieberman's haunting and capacious fictional world in which her characters all seem to be struggling to become citizens of some country, real or imagined."—Pagan Kennedy, author of Confessions of a Memory Eater


"The author's gift is the ability to use fiction as a portal through which her characters come toward us 'like lovers, mysterious, confessional, lusting, or fragile.'"--Foreword Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Weiss on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was delighted to discover Ms. Lieberman's short story collection. I heard her read at my local bookstore and was immediately captivated by her voice and sensibility. These stories are gems: hold them up to the light and turn them every which way. They are to savor. She writes about love, death, sex, friendship. Her characters travel to far away lands and discover things about themselves. These are not cookie cutter "workshop" stories but a true and original voice. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Lieberman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oded Strich on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book and didn't put it down until I had inhaled every last word and feasted on every image.
It was riveting, it took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, entire worlds exposed. An enthralling &
captivating read. I look forward to more.
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Format: Paperback
Each story in Tehila Lieberman's extraordinarily intense collection is riveting in its own way. Some are funny, some sexy, some heartrending--especially those about damaged parents and their abandoned children. The plots are always surprising, occasionally lifting off into the bizarre. No matter what emotional register they bring you to, you arrive via highly poetic prose, so that while yet captivated by one story, pondering its riches, its truths, you can't help but gird yourself for the next, and the next . . . .
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By Kneemo on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I can't contain my praise: I'm trying to think how to keep myself from gushing.

I found her writing enthralling. The emotional current which runs through it kept me entranced throughout. It's reminiscent to me of a prose version of Sharon Olds' poems - though I read her a long time ago and only have a lingering impression left. And, her characterizations seem to be spot on: E.g. I felt like the Irish gentleman in The Way I See It was the embodiment of a composite of similar men that I've known - one, in particular, seemed to be standing in front of me as I read. It made me laugh and it made me cry, and it made me feel a range of emotions in between. My only disappointment was that there was no next book of hers for me to read.
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