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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fresh way of looking at the world, April 22, 2012
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This review is from: Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories (Hardcover)
I bought this book on the strength of the review in the New York Times, which stressed how each story in the collection focused on the relationship between people and animals (and in a more general sense, nature). I am so glad I did! The lives of the women in these stories (the narrators are all women, mostly in what I'd guess to be their late 20s and 30s, although several feature older women) are grounded in relationships with the natural world, most particularly with animals. (This is not, however, a book of preachy stories about the environment.) If you are a person who thinks about and works out your questions about life in relation to the natural world this book will seem a miracle to you, because there are so few books in which the characters also live and understand their lives in this fashion.
That the book's stories all proceed from this perspective is the reason I rushed to buy the book, but I'm praising it because the stories are also wonderful as stories, which are well-crafted examples of the form and full of the kind of idiosyncratic vision that makes reading the short story (like the essay) such a pleasure. (And you can trust me on that: I'm a professor of literature...)
Too bad this book wasn't eligible for the Pulitzer in fiction this year; they could have given one.
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