Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories

Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories

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by Edith Pearlman
     
 

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In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these 21 vintage selected stories and 13 scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan,

Overview

In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these 21 vintage selected stories and 13 scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.

No matter the situation in which her characters find themselves�an unforeseen love affair between adolescent cousins, a lifetime of memories unearthed by an elderly couple�s decision to shoplift, the deathbed secret of a young girl�s forbidden forest tryst with the tsar, the danger that befalls a wealthy couple�s child in a European inn of misfits�Edith Pearlman conveys their experience with wit and aplomb, with relentless but clear-eyed optimism, and with a supple prose that reminds us, sentence by sentence, page by page, of the gifts our greatest verbal innovators can bestow.

Binocular Vision reveals a true American original, a master of the story, showing us, with her classic sensibility and lasting artistry, the cruelties, the longings, and the rituals that connect human beings across space and time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A finely tuned collection by writer's writer Pearlman combines the best of previous collections (How to Fall; etc.) with austere, polished new work. Pearlman's characters for the most part are stiff-upper-lipped Northeasterners who take what comes and don't grumble: in "The Noncombatant," Richard, a 49-year-old doctor suffering gravely from cancer during the tail end of WWII, rages quietly in his small Cape Cod town as celebrations erupt and memories of the wasted lives of the dead are swept away. A fictional Godolphin, Mass., is the setting for many of the stories, such as "Rules," in which the well-meaning staff at a soup kitchen try not to pry into the lives of the "cheats and crazies, drunks and dealers" who frequent the place. "Hanging Fire" is a perfectly crafted story about a 21-year-old college graduate, Nancy, on the cusp of embarking on life and certain only of her obligation to herself. The tale of retired gastroenterologist Cornelia Fitch in "Self-Reliance" reads like the fulfillment of Nancy's own self-determined trajectory: after a successful career, she determines how she wants to leave this life: with dignity and a wink. This should win new converts for Pearlman. (Jan.)
Roxana Robinson
Pearlman's view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments. Her characters inhabit terrain that all of us recognize, one defined by anxieties and longing, love and grief, loss and exultation. These quiet, elegant stories add something significant to the literary landscape…the volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one.
—The New York Times
Marcela Valdes
…thanks to the National Book Foundation, which recently chose [Pearlman's] spectacular short story collection Binocular Vision as a finalist for [2011's] fiction award, she may yet find the audience that she deserves…[Pearlman's] a master of the spare sentence, of the restrained emotion…
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982338292
Publisher:
Publishing Laboratory at UNC Wilmington, The
Publication date:
01/11/2011
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
221,969
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Edith Pearlman�s fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has appeared three times in Best American Short Stories, twice in The Pushcart Prize, and once in New Stories from the South. She is the author of three previous story collections: Vaquita (winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature), Love Among the Greats (winner of the Spokane Fiction Award), and How to Fall (winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize). She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Binocular Vision 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
AnnGTX More than 1 year ago
I read "Self-Reliance" and the next morning, the Daily Literary Quote of the day was from Umberto Eco. "I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed." He says exactly what I was thinking and feeling about "Self-Reliance." I've read it three times and each time it is different and remains new and fresh. How does a story a person has just read, remain mysterious? "Self-Reliance" is a fabulous story and cannot believe I skipped over it in my 2006 Best American Short Story volume. I don't always, in fact, hardly ever, read every story in an anthology so it was my loss until now. It is only a few pages long and in a not very close--which might account for the lingering mysteriousness of it--3rd person point of view with a few shifts. "Self-Reliance" also reminds me how almost every subject has already been written about but that it is the style, form, and voice that make such a difference. The story was first published in Lake Effect journal, then selected for Best American Short Story in 2006 and is now included in the anthology Binocular Vision.
bostonbub More than 1 year ago
After reading Edith Pearlman's "Binocular Vision," I've become a convert to the short story. This anthology is written with such precision and perception. You'll read these stories, reread them, give copies of the book to close friends as gifts and then discuss the stories endlessly. When you near the end of the book, you'll ration yourself so as not to end the book. The book will end, and you'll read it once more....and some stories even a third or fourth time. It's really short story perfection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago