by Edith Pearlman


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  • NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post
  • TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor
  • BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Wall Street Journal, NPR, Kirkus, Fresh Air (Maureen Corrigan), San Francisco Chronicle
Longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award — and a nationwide bestseller.

Over the past several decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the all-time great practitioners of the short story. Her incomparable vision, consummate skill, and bighearted spirit have earned her consistent comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and Frank O'Connor. Her latest work, gathered in this stunning collection of twenty new stories, is an occasion for celebration.

Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the true excitement comes from the evocation of the interior lives of young Emily Knapp, who wishes she were a bug, and her inner circle. "The Golden Swan" transports the reader to a cruise ship with lavish buffets-and a surprise stowaway-while the lead story, "Tenderfoot," follows a widowed pedicurist searching for love with a new customer anguishing over his own buried trauma. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them to us with unsurpassed generosity.

In prose as knowing as it is poetic, Pearlman shines a light on small, devastatingly precise moments to reflect the beauty and grace found in everyday life. Both for its artistry and for the recognizable lives of the characters it renders so exquisitely and compassionately, Honeydew is a collection that will pull readers back time and again. These stories are a crowning achievement for a brilliant career and demonstrate once more that Pearlman is a master of the form whose vision is unfailingly wise and forgiving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316297233
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/22/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 350,140
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Edith Pearlman's previous collection, Binocular Vision, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Story Prize. She is the author of three other story collections. She has also received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story and her stories have been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize. Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

What People are Saying About This

Kelly Link

HONEYDEW is a collection of work so vivid, so true, and so vital that the reader herself comes away all the more real. How can a story do what Pearlman's stories do? She is an incomparable master. —Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen

Lauren Groff

To read an Edith Pearlman story is to sense a mysterious voice singing just under the surface of the prose; it is to be so beguiled by elegance and wit that the inexorable surging power of the story astonishes when it finally hits the reader. HONEYDEW is brilliant. Edith Pearlman is among the greatest of the greats. --Lauren Groff

Tom Perrotta

HONEYDEW is a stellar collection, a wide-ranging examination of Pearlman's favorite subjects—the mysteries of love and friendship, the indignities and compensations of growing older, and the knotty complexities of the human heart. --Tom Perrotta

Alice Mattison

Edith Pearlman is a master of the short story…Pearlman's characters…are complicated, fully alive. You can't stop reading, because you know they'll astonish you on the very next page. --Alice Mattison, author of Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn

Andrea Barrett

Pearlman's work pierces right to the heart. She can capture characters and their whole world in a few perfect lines. In HONEYDEW, as in her other collections, her brilliant economy is matched only by her depth of feeling. --Andrea Barrett, National Book Award winner and author of Servants of the Map

T. C. Boyle

Edith Pearlman is an absolute master of the form.…Her language sings and aches all at once. --T. C. Boyle

Jennifer Haigh

For nearly five decades, Edith Pearlman has written stories that illumine and educate the mind and heart. HONEYDEW is required reading for all of us who love the short story form. To say it stands with the very best of Pearlman's work is the highest praise I can conceive of. --Jennifer Haigh, PEN/Hemingway Award winner and author of The Condition

Anthony Doerr

If you believe gorgeous, scrupulously made literature nourishes the soul, then you must read Edith Pearlman. --Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See and Memory Wall

Ann Patchett

A national treasure. Put Edith Pearlman's stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That's where they belong. --Ann Patchett

Customer Reviews

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Honeydew: Stories 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
This was an ARC that I received from Goodreads.  Thank you, Goodreads, Edith Pearlman and Little, Brown for making this program work!  As usual, Edith Pearlman has produced a beautiful book of short stories.  Her voice is clear, her characters are real, and the community of Godolphin, Massachusetts feels like home.  I particularly enjoyed Cul-de-Sac, Assisted Living, and Fishwater, but all of these stories are shining pearls.  I love how she can take an incidental occurrence and make it into a life lesson easily accepted and heeded by her readers.  I hope that she will have many more stories for us to savor and enjoy.  This book will go into my keepers shelf so that I may return to Godolphin at will just as soon as my sister and mother finish reading it....  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in. "Hey..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She waits in her living room wearing a sports bra and skinny jeans that hug her thick curves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought it for a friend. She hasn't said how she liked it