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Female Trouble: Stories Paperback – April 8, 2003
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Dave Eggers San Francisco Chronicle Any lover of realistic narrative fiction about actual and unglamorous people will be greatly rewarded by the work of Antonya Nelson.
Lynna Williams Chicago Tribune These are precise and acutely knowing stories, written by a woman who understands the potential of both female trouble and the short story form.
Frederick Busch, The New York Times Book Review These are serious stories, sensual and dark, with much at risk for the reader and, one imagines, the writer...Female Trouble is the work of a strong writer who sees both panoramically and with a powerfully close focus.
Carmela Ciuraru Newsday Precise, perceptive, and exceedingly funny.
About the Author
Antonya Nelson teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and is the award-winning author of three novels and four short story collections. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The Best American Short Stories. She divides her time among Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Top customer reviews
In "Female Trouble" she sets her sights on a close to her heart, I would assume subject, women: Professional women, divorced women, suicidal women, mother-earth women, young women and old women, pregnant women and the men who are fortunate enough to cross their paths.
"Female Trouble" is a short story collection. The Short Story is probably the most difficult prose form for an author to master:a short story should be all of a piece. You should not crave for more. The author has to quickly create a world, inhabit it with interesting characters and resolve the story so that the reader is satisfied at it's resolution.
The first story of this collection, "Incognito" is very well written and the premise is unique: a close group of three high school friends create an imaginary person, one Dawn Wrigley and use this persona as a means to act out all of their adolescent fantasies. The problem is at this story's end I craved for more, wanted loose ends tied, needed more information, felt cheated.
On the other hand in "One Dog is People," Nelson creates a world in which the basic premise of the story is tied up in a logical fashion with no lose ends hanging. This story also includes some of her most incisive writing: "A few days later I was sitting in traffic after dropping the children off at school. I relied on their disappearance every day; I could not stand such thorough neediness. And yet, as soon as they'd been swept into their buildings...I missed them. I fell under the heavy weight of guilt: how could I not be grateful? How could I not cling to what was left to me, cling and cherish?"
"Stitches" is in part about the relationship between a college-age girl (Tracy) and her mother (Ellen): "It was unnerving to be this girl's mother. She was so forthcoming. So frankly healthy...how had she gotten this way? Ellen felt somehow excluded from the process. She (Ellen) kept secrets---not in drawers or closets or diaries, but in her heart, behind her eyes, on her lips. Tracy's admirable openness seemed not to have been inherited from Ellen, so it must have come from her father."
As with most story collections, the quality here is variable. But what does not vary is Nelson's obvious love for her characters and her unflinching desire to get at the heart of things through the use of her gorgeous, even voluptuous writing style.