Mending: New and Selected Stories

Mending: New and Selected Stories

by Sallie Bingham
     
 

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Praise for Sallie Bingham:

"Sallie Bingham binds her collection together with sheer talent. The title novella is absolutely first-rate—a skillfully suggestive amalgam of Katherine Mansfield and Eudora Welty. This same unblinking gaze is hard at work on the essential weakness and dependence of men ('The Banks of the Ohio' and 'The Ice Party'), the

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Overview

Praise for Sallie Bingham:

"Sallie Bingham binds her collection together with sheer talent. The title novella is absolutely first-rate—a skillfully suggestive amalgam of Katherine Mansfield and Eudora Welty. This same unblinking gaze is hard at work on the essential weakness and dependence of men ('The Banks of the Ohio' and 'The Ice Party'), the illusion of freedom that comes with divorce ('Bare Bones'), and the desperate terror of adolescent love ('Winter Term')."—James R. Frakes, The New York Times Book Review

"Sallie Bingham's characters scrutinize their relationships with children, lovers, and their own treacherous souls. . . . Nearly every one of these flinty stories is a tiny masterpiece."—Entertainment Weekly

"Hardened but not compromised by adult life, these luminous stories . . . feature narrators who find mature, often solitary forms of reckoning, and even happiness. . . . There is not a false note in Bingham's striking collection."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"These engaging tales span landscape, gender, and age, and readers will treasure Bingham's strikingly perceptive composition and refined, clever flashes of detail and clarity."—Booklist

Sallie Bingham published her first novel with Houghton Mifflin in 1961. Since then she has published four collections of short stories, four novels, and a memoir. She was book editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been a director of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the founder of The Kentucky Foundation for Women.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of new and selected stories spans work from 1967 to the present by an important writer who is too little known. These stories are remarkable for their economy of language and for the author's ability, within a small frame, to allow the undefined but intense emotion of a central character (male or female, young or old) to sharpen in focus to the point at which both reader and character share the surprise of insight. In "August Ninth at Natural Bridge," from Bingham's 1972 collection, The Way It Is Now, a family's traditional birthday outing becomes the setting for a girl's seemingly typical teenage surliness to open out gradually into a terrifying understanding of sexual gamesmanship. These stories end with a stunning metaphoric resonance. In the more recent "Apricots," for instance, a 63-year-old teacher allows herself to be seduced by a student helping her can apricots. Toward the end of the story, Bingham moves from action to recollection with the following sentence: "Later, Caroline remembered the flesh of the apricots, their slight graininess, the moisture that was not dripping like the sweetness of peaches but absorbed, contained." VERDICT Like the fruit in "Apricots," the stories in this rich collection are characterized by a ripeness of language and the graininess of surprising truths.—Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA
Publishers Weekly
Spanning 50 years, this omnibus of Bingham’s tight, sparkling short fiction includes stories from her earliest collection, The Touching Hand (1967), to her latest, Red Car (2008). The title story that opens the collection demonstrates the attention to detail and skillfully rendered emotional tension that characterize Bingham’s work. “My trade is doctors,” the story’s anxious young heroine declares as she visits one after the other. Believing herself deficient in feeling, she becomes smitten with her tired, green-eyed psychiatrist, “who seemed to have spent himself warming people up.” Though he won’t have her as a lover, she recognizes that his therapeutic acceptance of her scabby need is a kind of love. In “Found,” set five years after the end of WWII, the privileged daughter of the U.S. ambassador to France comes to understand society’s miseries while living in a Paris full of scarred, hostile survivors. In the disquieting “Anywhere You Send Me,” the values of a wealthy, older woman clash with the unimaginable destitution of the motley band of Haitian refugees that she shelters on her Southern farm. Bingham’s work, including favorites such as “The Wedding” and “Sweet Peas,” remains sharp and deliciously unsettling, ripe for discovery by a new generation of readers. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“Spanning 50 years, this omnibus of Bingham’s tight, sparkling short fiction includes stories from her earliest collection, The Touching Hand (1967), to her latest, Red Car (2008). The title story that opens the collection demonstrates the attention to detail and skillfully rendered emotional tension that characterize Bingham’s work. . . . Bingham’s work, including favorites such as “The Wedding” and “Sweet Peas,” remains sharp and deliciously unsettling, ripe for discovery by a new generation of readers.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This collection of new and selected stories spans work from 1967 to the present by an important writer who is too little known. These stories are remarkable for their economy of language and for the author’s ability, within a small frame, to allow the undefined but intense emotion of a central character (male or female, young or old) to sharpen in focus to the point at which both reader and character share the surprise of insight.”
—Sue Russell, Library Journal

"The layers of the unspoken in Bingham's stories afford them the repleteness of novellas, belying their accessible surfaces, which are as absorbing as gossip. . . . Selected from five decades' work, these stories distill the mysterious glow that lives emanate as they recede into the past, and confirm Bingham's place in the front rank of practitioners of this elusive genre."
The New Yorker

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936747016
Publisher:
Sarabande Books
Publication date:
09/20/2011
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Sallie Bingham published her first novel with Houghton Mifflin in 1961. Since then she has published four collections of short stories, four novels, and a memoir. She was Book Editor for The Courier-Journal in Louisville and has been a director of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the founder of The Kentucky Foundation for Women.

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