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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Sometimes it seems impossible that the insight certain young writers display in their craft could have come without decades of life experience. Karl Iagnemma's richly compelling book of relationship tales is the work of one such writer. In his collection of eight startlingly original stories, he explores the nature of love in all its deeply flawed complexity.
The title story sets the theme of this research scientist's book: A university mathematician tries to explain love by formula, using linear equations. A victim of unrequited love, he moves to a warmer region, hoping to draw connections between love and geography or climate. In "The Confessional Approach," an artist sells out to support an errant lover. And in the disturbing and suspenseful "Children of Hunger," based on a true story, the lonely wife of a frontier doctor watches as her husband conducts live experiments on a young man who has had much of his abdomen shot away.
Common throughout each of these stories is the notion that to love is to put oneself in a solitary place, where the battle for happiness must be fought alone, often in silence. For readers who enjoyed 2002 Discover Award winner Tony Doerr's The Shell Collector, take note: In Karl Iagnemma, we have found a similarly precocious talent. (Summer 2003 Selection)