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Pins and Needles

Pins and Needles

by Karen Brown

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Winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction

In Pins and Needles, Karen Brown explores the dynamics of love and longing between mother and child, husband and wife, close friends, and virtual strangers, often peeling back the facade of a seemingly stable suburban life to reveal the secrets and transgressions that even good people can be guilty of.

In “She Fell to Her Knees,” Nell inherits the neglected house in which her mother died years before, and begins an affair with the neighbor. The narrator of “Apparitions,” who has recently returned the blind grandson she was raising to the care of his mother, invites a confused young man into her home. In “The Ropewalk,” a bartender haunted by her abandonment of her own child aids a customer in a struggle for custody of her daughters. A pregnant teenager in “Unction” comes to accept the reality of her situation while working a summer job in a bookbinding shop. Annie, the young mother with a tragic past in “Pins and Needles,” leaves her infant daughter to go on an errand in a snowstorm, and picks up a boy she doesn't know.

Evocative, sexy, and haunting, these are stories that readers won't soon forget.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476739199
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, and Good Housekeeping. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida.

What People are Saying About This

Enid Shomer

Karen Brown is one of those writers who has you by the throat from the first paragraph. Though her characters are burdened by self-loathing and what one of them calls 'an unremitting expectation of loss,' Brown has so meticulously observed the worlds they inhabit that their rare moments of love and hope are hard-won, beautifully nuanced, and deeply felt.

Nancy Reisman

For the women in these stories, many of them mothers, the sense of private exile leads to liaisons beyond the boundaries of established relationships, where fidelities shift, and sexual relationships and secret-keeping become momentary stands against loss. The profound losses in these stories — the accidental deaths of children, losses of parental love, the effects of time passing — continue to haunt, both deepened and suspended by Karen Brown's glimmering prose.

A. Manette Ansay

Each of these stories is its own sensual journey, an unflinching exploration of desire and its consequences. Pins and Neeedles is a bold, sexy, beautiful portrait of the human heart.

Customer Reviews