Enchantment: New and Selected Stories

( 1 )


The short fiction of Thaisa Frank has captivated readers for two decades, and now many of those pieces are collected in one volume, along with several new stories. In the title story, a lonely mother and housewife orders an enchanted man from a website called The Wondrous Traveler, who arrives with instructions for use and a list of frequently asked questions about enchantment. In “Thread,” two circus performers who pass through the eye of a needle become undone by a complicated love triangle. In “Henna,” a young...

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Enchantment: New and Selected Stories

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The short fiction of Thaisa Frank has captivated readers for two decades, and now many of those pieces are collected in one volume, along with several new stories. In the title story, a lonely mother and housewife orders an enchanted man from a website called The Wondrous Traveler, who arrives with instructions for use and a list of frequently asked questions about enchantment. In “Thread,” two circus performers who pass through the eye of a needle become undone by a complicated love triangle. In “Henna,” a young writing teacher must contend with an exotic student who will not write, her hands covered in dye and her fingers “sprouting innumerable gardens.” And in “The Loneliness of the Midwestern Vampire,” the undead descend upon the heartland of the country and become accustomed to its friendlier way of life, attending barn raisings and feasting on cattle in an attempt to normalize their darker passions.

These are vibrant, compelling stories that examine the distance between imagination and reality, and how characters bridge that gap in their attempt to reach one another.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Enchantment

“…It is difficult to think of a better title for Thaisa Frank's captivating collection of new and selected stories than Enchantment...[it] has a marvelous, dreamlike quality - the sort of book that is not so much read as it is experienced, a spellbinding blend of flash fiction, short stories, and novellas that also move seamlessly and pleasingly from the concrete and the surreal, the historical and the fantastic…Like many great story collections, Enchantment is a book that teaches the reader how to read it as they move through its pages, and…it soon becomes apparent that Frank is writing what she knows about - that in her varied, imaginative and often metaphorical means of capturing emotional truth, she has created an honest, affecting and mesmerizing book, one that shines powerfully and unforgettably with that wonderful sense of enchantment of which Nabokov speaks.” —San Francisco Chronicle

"The title of this collection hints at its contents—delectable stories with touches of the surreal as well as many plot twists and surprises. From short-short story to novella, each narrative demonstrates mastery of the genre. Frank’s style is tightly controlled and lyrical, yet contains a richness of detail that seamlessly integrates fantasy elements and magic realism."—Booklist

"Thaisa Frank’s Enchantment serves the reader small, jeweled worlds of wonder— contortionists and circus masters, enchanted men and vampires, angel channelers and Pre-Raphaelites. This powerful and unforgettable collection shows the mortal challenges faced by even the most extraordinary characters.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

"Enchantment explores the shadows at the edges of our lives, and the restless truths that inhabit them. Thaisa Frank's prose is pitch-perfect, as is her instinct for exploring the unspoken hungers of the human spirit. These are stories of startling beauty, boldly imagined and finely wrought." —Carolina De Robertis, author of Perla

Praise for Heidegger’s Glasses

“Frank’s vision of the Holocaust is original and startling, with compelling characters and a narrative that's both explosive and ponderous.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Thaisa Frank uses one of history’s greatest crimes, the Holocaust, as the backdrop to an original, imaginative, and compelling story. Both intellectual and emotional, Heidegger’s Glasses has plenty of real life lessons which are still relevant today.” —The Huffington Post

“A spellbinding, innovative, intellectually compelling tour-de-force. Thaisa Frank’s imagination is boundless: she enchants and horrifies and moves us, often on the same page.” —Michelle Huneven, author of Blame

“This is stunning work, full of mystery and strange tenderness. Thaisa Frank has written one of the most compelling stories of the Nazi regime since D. M. Thomas’s Pictures at an Exhibition. It is a book that will haunt you.” —Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply

“Written in the precise prose that has garnered praise for Frank’s short fiction, this surreal tale is a vivid reminder of what we must not forget.” —Booklist

“A tour de force whose imagery haunts the reader long after the final page is turned.” —Jim Moret, author of The Last Day of My Life

“Thaisa Frank has composed a mesmeric image of prisoners trapped in the madness of a decaying Nazi regime. Ms. Frank’s skillfully laced prose and riveting imagery combine to create an unforgettably surrealistic portrait of a world gorged on insanity.” —Thomas Steinbeck, author of Down to a Soundless Sea

“Philosophical yet searingly passionate, Thaisa Frank’s debut novel is essential reading for our own uncertain times. Practically vibrating with empathy, Heidegger’s Glasses is one of those rare gifts of literature that makes you feel as deeply as it makes you think. You will never forget it.” —Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger

“Heidegger’s Glasses has the majesty and significance of novels of another time and place. Thaisa Frank’s surreal narrative has the uncanny sensibility of a Yiddish folk tale and the mystical spirit of an Isaac Bashevis singer story.” —Katharine Weber, author of True Confections and Triangle

“Heidegger’s Glasses suspends us in a world populated with angels and devils, philosophers and survivors, who come alive through passions and actions that seize our minds and hearts. This surreal world explodes and we watch courage walking hand in hand with death until the satisfying end. It is an amazing book.” —Louise Murphy, author of The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582438108
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,017,890
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Thaisa Frank's short stories have received two PEN awards, and her two previous collections have been on the bestseller list of the San Francisco Chronicle. Her has work been widely translated, and her first novel, Heidegger's Glasses, was published by Counterpoint in 2010.

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Table of Contents

Enchantment: New and Selected Stories

The Loneliness of the Midwestern Vampire

Love in the Hour of Haniel
The Cat Lover
The Terrain of Madame Blavatsky
The Eye of the Needle
Padma Karnak
The Dungeon Master’s Mother
The Letter Writer
Stairway to the Stars
Running in Place
Frozen Cats
Traveling Clothes
In the Middle of the Night
Rossetti’s Closet
Copernicus Chair
The White Coat
Sleeping in Velvet

The Map Maker


Stories We Began to Tell
The Mole
The Last Lady who Loved Howard Hughes
The New Thieves
Using the Car for Business
Work and Time
The Second Husband
Buying a Rug in Esquares
Aberrations of Light
A Brief History of Camouflage

An Afternoon in Kansas
My Face
The Kiss
The Enchanted Man
The Store
My Mother’s Voice
Door into Dark
Country Boy

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2012

    3.5 stars

    Enchantment by Thaisa Frank is a collection of short stories. As with any similar collection there are stories that stand out to me as more enjoyable than others, but this is a solid collection overall. A good portion of the stories take place in the world we are very familiar with, but with a hint of the fantastic mixed in. They also deal with a lot of strong emotions love, loneliness, and death are common themes. The stories within vary greatly in length giving a wide selection to choose from. This is a great book for people who are looking for thought provoking stories filled with powerful emotions.

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