Thoreau's Laundry: Stories

Overview

"Reading Thoreau's Laundry is like taking many journeys with the best possible traveling companion, one who makes the world more vivid, more resonant, more interesting at the deepest level."-Margot Livesey

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 ...

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Overview

"Reading Thoreau's Laundry is like taking many journeys with the best possible traveling companion, one who makes the world more vivid, more resonant, more interesting at the deepest level."-Margot Livesey

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.

"Thoreau's Laundry is brainy, funny, soulful and original. Ann Harleman is that rare writer whose playfulness with words is as skillful as her ardent portrayal of human experience."-Meg Wolitzer

"A tapestry of beautifully written stories, gripping, deeply affecting and completely entertaining. Each story shimmers with the richness of Harleman's insightful prose."-Mary McGarry Morri.

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What People Are Saying

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.
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.
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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 the author's 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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