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Because They Wanted to: Stories Paperback – February 27, 1998
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of my favorite stories (almost all of them, really) were Tiny Smiling Daddy, about the father who recalls and regrets his reaction to learning of his daughter's "coming out." Because They Wanted To, was about Elise, a 16 year-old runaway who takes care of a stranger's kids. Orchid, about old friends seeing each other after so many years, thus stirring up memories of a close friendship bordering on love. The Blanket, about a relationship between an older woman and a younger man. Finally there's one of my favorites, Girl on a Plane, where a man looks back on his misdeeds after meeting a woman who mysteriously reminds him of a girl he once knew. Then there's The Dentist, where a girl named Jill endlessly chases this man whom the author gives no name (which clues you into his personality!). In the last four stories, the narration changes to the first person and takes on a much more lively pace. However, that does not take away the depth of the all of the preceding stories.
Gaitskill is flawless at exposing the complexities of the human psyche. Furthermore, she exposes the maddening efforts people make to connect with one another. Illustrating every character as a unique individual, Gaitskill gives each person his or her own set of baggage, idiosyncrasies, and methods of survival.Read more ›
In Tiny, Smiling Daddy, the opening story in Because They Wanted To, a sexually prodigal daughter discharges "her strange jangling beauty" into her father's house, "changing the molecules of its air". In another story (Processing), a waitress, "vibrant with purpose" pours water for her dinner guests "with a harried rattle of ice". At a party in Palo Alto, light "runs and flirts on silverware". All of these glimpses into Gaitskill's latest stories illustrate how charged her language can be, and how much it is animated (in spite of its dark themes) by both boldness and joie de vivre.
In other Gaitskill stories, many of the characters act as impish raconteurs of narratives that reveal their own pain or shame. Their audience is made up of a sort of floating opera of fast friends, scoffers, and therapists manque. Privacy is sacrificed to get at "the truth" about both intimacy and the potential that life has for the playful (and in particular for the sexually playful) to be extended into adulthood. But sex, in Gaitskill's world, is mischievous, cerebral, brutal, or even described with an almost dainty candour, the one thing it is not is sexy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the best writer about s+m ever, in my opinion, she shows others a world not everyone is willing to explore, or even imagine, but she delivers her stories of naughtiness with a hard... Read morePublished 21 months ago by bessel orchid
Looking over the reviews here it seems that you either love Gaitskill's overwrought, overdramatic characters or you want to shake them and tell them to grow up (or at least stop... Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by R. Parlakian
Full disclosure: I read this book as requirement for a writing course, so I had a bit of bias against it from the get-go because of the necessity of reading it. Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by MissOsh
Hey, all you Mary hatahs in the one star club -- didn't you get that half the time the author was poking fun at her characters, maybe the self that inspired them, and the... Read morePublished on January 22, 2010 by A Reader
Gaitskill's characters were a little one note, despondent, often sexually twisted people. But her writing is absolutely brilliant, you can't wait to get to the end of the story,... Read morePublished on May 14, 2009 by C. R. Morgan
It's been years since I read this book. I was invited to the Hamptons for a lovely fall weekend, and I packed up Gaitskill to be my fellow guest. Read morePublished on March 22, 2009 by B. Judell
Good stuff. She has a perspective on "alternative" lifestyles that is honest and not just shock value. Read morePublished on April 14, 2008 by JSH