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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|Publisher:||Washington Square Press|
|Sold by:||SIMON & SCHUSTER|
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About the Author
What People are Saying About This
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.
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.
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.