Trespassing and Other Stories

Overview

Here is a collection of short stories that spans the globe but also finds time to examine the quiet shifts in an individual’s sense of self. In Trespassing and Other Stories, Valerie Miner touches on the lives and histories of many people in different parts of the world, yet links them with her careful perceptions and empathies.
     Two women visiting a weekend cottage defend their property from intruders but find their own sexual identity violated. A ...

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Overview

Here is a collection of short stories that spans the globe but also finds time to examine the quiet shifts in an individual’s sense of self. In Trespassing and Other Stories, Valerie Miner touches on the lives and histories of many people in different parts of the world, yet links them with her careful perceptions and empathies.
     Two women visiting a weekend cottage defend their property from intruders but find their own sexual identity violated. A Chinese woman spins silk and elongates the thread of life and immunity. A child learns to swim and also some powerful lessons about adulthood. An Arab boy seeks his father among visiting U.S. tourists. A London widow has her life and her memories stirred by a young visitor.
     Valerie Miner skillfully employs trespassing as a theme and metaphor, following her characters across borders of generation, politics, sexuality, morality, national identity—always asking provocative questions and raising intriguing contradictions. Whether writing about Africa, Europe, North America, or Asia, about rape, work, colonialism, or childhood, she brings her own passionate sensibility to bear. Miner writes with strength and wit, and evokes a range of voices that will delight both fans and new readers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shifts in relationships, particularly between women, are subtly revealed in this collection of 16 stories and one novella. In the title story, an intensifying feeling of menace threatens two women lovers at their isolated weekend cottage, but the violation they fear comes from another source. This and other stories in the first section, entitled ``Home,'' take place in familiar settings, while those grouped under the title ``Away'' occur at various locations abroad. Miner's preoccupation remains essentially similar in all of them, however, as she focuses on the nuances of behavior in which breakthroughs in relationships occur. The novella ``Transfer'' examines the unspoken affection between a woman and an older man, an old family friend. Living with a female lover in London, Ellen returns home to L.A. for her father's funeral, and reflects that she and Martin each may have ``loved the possibilities in ourselves which were provoked by the other.'' In several of the stories, a woman's viewpoint is caught with irony, even a painful hilarity. Miner writes in clear, accessible prose, and if her tales suffer from a sameness of tone, they have moments of resonating perception. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870136801
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of thirteen books, including Abundant Light, Range of Light, A Walking Fire, Winter's Edge, and Blood Sisters. She has been published in The Village Voice, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Salmagundi, and many other journals. Her stories and essays have appeared in more than fifty anthologies. She has won the 2005 McKnight Artist Fellowship; Valerie was a 2000 Fulbright Senior Scholar to India. She has won fellowships and awards from The Rockefeller Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The NEA, The Jerome Foundation, The Heinz Foundation, The Australia Council Literary Arts Board and numerous other sources. She has had Fulbright Fellowships to Tunisia, India and Indonesia. Miner is Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and is now an artist-in-residence and professor at Stanford University. She travels internationally giving readings, lectures and workshops. She lives in San Francisco and Mendocino County, California.

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