Thoreau's Laundry: Stories

Overview


The twelve stories in Ann Harleman’s second fiction collection span a century (from 1911 to the present) and range over two continents. Her characters confront love and loss—heartbreak, adultery, divorce, chronic degenerative illness, disability, and death—within a context of political and social upheaval. Their personal battles are intensified by the trials of their times: the onset of World War I, Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, the Iron Curtain, the Cold War, the urban warfare in America’s inner ...
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Overview


The twelve stories in Ann Harleman’s second fiction collection span a century (from 1911 to the present) and range over two continents. Her characters confront love and loss—heartbreak, adultery, divorce, chronic degenerative illness, disability, and death—within a context of political and social upheaval. Their personal battles are intensified by the trials of their times: the onset of World War I, Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, the Iron Curtain, the Cold War, the urban warfare in America’s inner cities, 9/11. Despite their often dire circumstances, Harleman’s characters manage to find moments of light and grace.
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What People Are Saying

Rosellen Brown
Thoreau's Laundry is a vivid fugue of voices—of whole families—whose stories wind around each other, inextricably, profoundly connected. Ann Harleman knows a great deal about exile, whether from body or birthplace, and her reports from the far side of comfort are riveting.
William Boyd
A hugely accomplished collection of stories—confidently wide-ranging in theme and setting, eloquent, moving, and shrewdly profound.
John Casey
Ann Harleman is as good a short story writer as we've got. Harleman's stories are like birds in flight—swift, graceful and precise.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870745133
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Ann Harleman is the author of Happiness, a story collection that won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, and the novel Bitter Lake (SMU, 1996). She’s been the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, three Rhode Island State Arts Council fellowships, the Berlin Prize in Literature, the PEN Syndicate Fiction Award, an O. Henry Award, and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. In an earlier life, she was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in linguistics from Princeton, and she lived and worked behind the Iron Curtain. Now she is on the faculties of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, where she teaches fiction writing to visual artists. Visit her Web site at www.annharleman.com
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Table of Contents


Meanwhile     1
Stalin Dreaming     19
Sharks     37
The Angel of Entropy     43
The Ones without Visas     55
Street of Swans     59
Iggy Ugly     83
Biscuit Baby     101
Thoreau's Laundry     109
Romantic Fever     131
Autumn, 1911     143
Will Build to Suit     171
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