The Alice Stories

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Overview


Wisconsin is not where Alice, a girl raised in Florida, meant to end up. But when she falls in love with Anders Dahl, a descendant of Norwegian farmers born for generations in the same stone farmhouse, she realizes that to love Anders is to settle into a life in Wisconsin in the small house they buy before their daughter, Maude, is born. Together, Alice and Anders move forward into a life of family, friends, and the occasional troubled student until they face their biggest challenge. Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Jesse Lee Kercheval’s The Alice Stories tells the tale of a family: the pain of loss and the importance of the love of friends in the midst of turmoil. As timely as the news yet informed by rich humor and a deep understanding of human character, the interlinked Alice Stories form a luminous tale of family life.
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Editorial Reviews

Nancy Reisman

“In these lucid, keenly intelligent stories, Jesse Lee Kercheval’s witty, tender, and bewildered Alice navigates the unpredictable landscape of adulthood—its irreplaceable gifts and stunning losses—and illuminates what it means to love. Kercheval is a deft, generous storyteller, her fiction mapping the confluence of profound experience, daily rhythms, and small, perfect absurdities. The Alice Stories is a beautiful, arresting collection.”

—Nancy Reisman, author of the novel The First Desire

Anthony Doerr

“By turns hilarious and devastating, The Alice Stories form a tender and poetic chronicle of one woman's journey through time, love, motherhood, and Wisconsin. It is a marvelous example of how connected stories can, even more effectively than a novel, evoke a life in all its ranging, episodic, and emotional complexity.”

—Anthony Doerr, author of the novel About Grace

Erin McGraw

“Daily life has never seemed more remarkable, or more fraught, or more ultimately plenteous than in these seductively readable Alice Stories. Like her literary namesake, Kercheval's Alice is the ideal companion—witty, warm, and, above all, clear-sighted—to this book's tour through a wonderland of surprise and ineradicable hope.”

—Erin McGraw, author of the story collection The Good Life

Review of Contemporary Fiction

“The stories ultimately form a coherent narrative, building to the extraordinarily powerful final story, ‘Night Dogs,’ which refocuses everything that precedes it.”

—Quentin Miller, Review of Contemporary Fiction

Booklist

"Over the course of 10 beautifully shaped, deeply moving, funny, and utterly surprising linked stories, Kercheval, in prose as sparkling as snow in sunlight, considers how quickly things can stop making sense and how sustaining goodness truly is."

—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Jonis Agee

“Jesse Lee Kercheval performs some much-needed surgery on the human heart in this stunning new collection of stories by an author whose wry and touching perceptions make her one of the foremost chroniclers of our times.”

—Jonis Agee, author of the novel The River Wife

Booklist - Donna Seaman

"Over the course of 10 beautifully shaped, deeply moving, funny, and utterly surprising linked stories, Kercheval, in prose as sparkling as snow in sunlight, considers how quickly things can stop making sense and how sustaining goodness truly is."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review of Contemporary Fiction - Quentin Miller

“The stories ultimately form a coherent narrative, building to the extraordinarily powerful final story, ‘Night Dogs,’ which refocuses everything that precedes it.”—Quentin Miller, Review of Contemporary Fiction

Jonis Agee

“Jesse Lee Kercheval performs some much-needed surgery on the human heart in this stunning new collection of stories by an author whose wry and touching perceptions make her one of the foremost chroniclers of our times.”—Jonis Agee, author of the novel The River Wife
Erin McGraw

“Daily life has never seemed more remarkable, or more fraught, or more ultimately plenteous than in these seductively readable Alice Stories. Like her literary namesake, Kercheval's Alice is the ideal companion—witty, warm, and, above all, clear-sighted—to this book's tour through a wonderland of surprise and ineradicable hope.”—Erin McGraw, author of the story collection The Good Life
Anthony Doerr

“By turns hilarious and devastating, The Alice Stories form a tender and poetic chronicle of one woman's journey through time, love, motherhood, and Wisconsin. It is a marvelous example of how connected stories can, even more effectively than a novel, evoke a life in all its ranging, episodic, and emotional complexity.”—Anthony Doerr, author of the novel About Grace
Nancy Reisman

“In these lucid, keenly intelligent stories, Jesse Lee Kercheval’s witty, tender, and bewildered Alice navigates the unpredictable landscape of adulthood—its irreplaceable gifts and stunning losses—and illuminates what it means to love. Kercheval is a deft, generous storyteller, her fiction mapping the confluence of profound experience, daily rhythms, and small, perfect absurdities. The Alice Stories is a beautiful, arresting collection.”—Nancy Reisman, author of the novel The First Desire
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803211353
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Series: Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Jesse Lee Kercheval is Sally Mead Hands Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is the author of seven books and two chapbooks. Her first story collection, The Dogeater, won the Associated Writing Programs Award in Short Fiction, and her memoir, Space, won the Alex Award from the American Library Association.
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