Stealing Time

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Since her stories were first published in The New Yorker and other magazines, Mary Grimm has won exceptional critical acclaim and a devoted following among readers of fine fiction. Now, with her stunning debut collection, Stealing Time, Grimm proves herself a superb new master of the subtle art of short fiction. These stories brilliantly explore extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. Their characters could be found on any block in any suburb or city, yet through Grimm's literary alchemy they ...
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Stealing Time: Stories

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Overview

Since her stories were first published in The New Yorker and other magazines, Mary Grimm has won exceptional critical acclaim and a devoted following among readers of fine fiction. Now, with her stunning debut collection, Stealing Time, Grimm proves herself a superb new master of the subtle art of short fiction. These stories brilliantly explore extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. Their characters could be found on any block in any suburb or city, yet through Grimm's literary alchemy they become singularly unforgettable. In the award-winning "We," two young housewives try various diversions to fill up the hollow centers of their lives until they realize they must grow up enough to fill that center with themselves. In "Mommy and Doris," an older woman finds entertainment watching passersby and imagining the dark secrets of their lives. In these and other stories, Grimm writes poignantly and humorously of characters on the verge of a new awareness: a father who really sees his wife and children for the first time when his wife walks out; a pregnant woman who must come to terms with the fact that she will not be able to carry on with the life she has always led. Stealing Time is dazzling in its lyricism, humor, uncommon insight, and truth.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Time preys on the (mostly) female protagonists of these 14 carefully wrought and quietly breathtaking stories, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker . Grimm ( Left to Themselves ) catalogues with subtlety the daily acts, petty and precious, that women are consumed by but through which, paradoxically, they fulfill themselves. Gleeful college girls in ``Research'' gather lists of the ``guys'' with whom they might lose their virginity, but for the narrator the moment of loss is a lyrical glimpse of inevitability and impersonality, as if she were caught up in a musical phrase. The superbly understated ``We'' tells of three women, glowing in their young marriages and maternal tasks, rising up at night ``into sleep and dreams, as light as birds.'' After this domestic phase quickly passes, they look back at it wonderingly. The narrator of ``Interview with My Mother'' prods her bedridden parent for old memories and struggles to see how the trivia adds up. In ``The Life of the Body,'' jilted Kate feels robbed when her old lover, a husky red-haired poet, flagrantly expropriates her own grief in his verse. In the harrowing ``Bring Back the Dead,'' Karen waits out the ``stiff time'' for word of Jenny, her vanished 12-year-old daughter. And, poignantly, it is love stories that keep death at bay in ``True Stories''; they are ``like a gun . . . trained on the future.'' (Apr.)
Library Journal
From the author of Left to Themselves ( LJ 1/93) comes an uneven collection of 14 short stories. Many of the stories are truly outstanding. ``We'' chronicles the lives of three young mothers who try to fill the void in their marriages and eventually come to terms with themselves. ``Mommy and Doris'' takes place in a McDonald's, where an astute older woman observes the actions of a young family. ``Buying a Pumpkin'' is the poignant tale of a father caring for his three children after his wife has left him. ``Research'' evokes a bygone era, which features a teenage girl determined to lose her virginity. Finally, ``Bring Back the Dead'' is the harrowing story of a mother whose daughter has been missing and is found dead. Unfortunately, not all of the stories are of the same high quality. Some are slim and relatively insubstantial. Overall, however, this is a pleasant collection. Recommended for public libraries.-- Stephanie Furtsch, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517155950
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/5/1994

Table of Contents

Research 3
We Who Are Young 23
Book of Dreams 31
Teenagers Living in Cleveland 43
Stealing Time 60
Buying a Pumpkin 68
True Stories 85
Five Years 94
Mommy and Doris 109
The Life of the Body 121
Before 138
We 153
Interview with My Mother 168
Bring Back the Dead 177
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