The stories in Talking in the Dark read like small novels: the worlds they imagine are that layered and complete. Each examination of the underside of love-from endurance and betrayal to sacrifice, obsession, and abandonment-evokes images of lowered voices and shared confessions. The deepest chords of intimacy echo throughout this moving and, finally, hopeful book.
A single mother, haunted by loneliness and self-doubt, sleeps with her daughter's teenage boyfriend, and, in a scene of frightening family tension, turns her rage not toward the husband who abandoned her, but toward her daughter. A young tennis player experiencing her first love becomes the victim of a young man's dangerous obsession. An elderly widower becomes the target of a materialistic younger woman.
Laura Glen Louis's language is spare and precise, sometimes filled with the subterfuges of desire and need, sometimes vibrant with the hope of love's birth or rebirth, sometimes counterpointed by tenderness and alienation. Hers is a new voice, but one that arrives fully matureincisive, unsparing, and enlightening.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Laura Glen Louis won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in 1990 for her first short story. Her second story, "Fur," was selected by Tobias Wolff for Best American Short Stories 1994 and "Her Slow and Steady," was a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 1997. Louis emigrated from Hong Kong at the age of six, and lives on the West Coast.
What People are Saying About This
This collection heralds the arrival of a major new talent in American fiction.
(Robert Bausch, author of A Hole in the Earth)
Laura Glen Louis's vibrant, beautifully crafted stories surprise with their originality and resonate with feeling.
(Hilma Wolitzer, author of Tunnel of Love and The Company of Writers)
Laura Glen Louis is a careful writer, which works to marvelous effect, because her material is incendiary.
(J.D. Landis, author of Longing)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The short stories in Laura Glen Louis' 'Talking in the Dark' are about things. Things we dare not talk about. Things we should talk about but we tell ourselves that we don't have the strength to confront our own words. A couple loses their only child to SIDS after years of trying to conceive. A divorced mother sleeps with her teenage daughter's boyfriend. A woman meets with her ex-husband, on the sly, to hear him complain about his new, young wife, and to enjoy intimacy. A young woman is stalked by a silent, obsessed man from the old country. Despite such topics, Louis uses well-crafted, poetic and subtle language to tell her stories. She infuses Chinese cultural elements gently but without hesitation. This is a truly beautiful collection of fiction that I recommend to all who care about language and our daily struggle to make sense out of things that happen to us.
I am not usually a fan of short stories. I am disappointed to just glimpse the lives of the characters, and explore some tiny, ellusive plot point. But these stories are dead on, honest and whole, told with such gentle, persistent care that they continue to amaze, even on second reading. We know these people without a wasted word, and we know their lives beyond the story's edge. All of this and the graceful language -- yes, Amy Tan and Stephen King, the language! Every one of these stories is a gem. If all short stories were as fully satisfying as these, I'd give up novels. I look forward to the next collection -- it can't come soon enough!