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Terrarium: New and Selected Stories

Terrarium: New and Selected Stories

by Valerie Trueblood


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on August 27, 2019


Shortlisted for the Pacific Northwest Book Award

"Urgent, unnerving and tightly packed short fiction that covers enough ground for a library of novels." —The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice

Valerie Trueblood's writing has been praised by The New York Times as "an exercise in literary restraint and extreme empathy." Selected here are stories from her previous collections—finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award—alongside her newest collection, which lends this book its name.

The new stories collected within Terrarium represent an exciting direction for the author: a condensing of narrative and, in some cases, a departure from it into another state of mind.

It's hard to describe any of Trueblood's stories as "typical." She does not write about people from a single class, or caste, or geographical area. She has not written a single story emblematic of her work. She does not write stories fantastical or eccentric. Ordinary life, her stories may be saying, is fantastical enough. She is more like Babel than Chekhov. In all her writing, it's clear that Trueblood believes that the short story can carry both the lightest and heaviest of loads. Terrarium highlights the achievement of simply living, the stories within often unresolved but in a state of continuation, expansion. Trueblood's stories aren't merely about their subjects, they're inside them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640092488
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 08/27/2019
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

VALERIE TRUEBLOOD is the author of the novel Seven Loves, and the short story collections Search Party, Marry or Burn, and Criminals. She's been a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, a finalist for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and a recipient of the B&N Discover Award. She lives in Seattle.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

From MARRY OR BURN, 2010

Invisible River 6

Choice in Dreams 26

Trespass 39

Phantom Father 62

Luck 74

Beloved, You Looked into Space 99


The Finding 152

The Magic Pebble 159

The Llamas 182

Think Not Bitterly of Me 196

The Stabbed Boy 233

The Blue Grotto 239

Later or Never 258

Who Is He that Will Harm You? 275


Bride of the Black Duck 301

His Rank 315

Astride 319

Kisses 333

Da Capo 360

You Would Be Good 384

Sleepover 391

Novel of Rose 432

Criminals 437


1. Cherries

Aliens 456

Helen of Troy 458

Dogs of War and Peace 463

The Book Review 465

Mulierculae 471

The Witch 473

Crisco 476

Cherries 481

2. The Infralife

The Tamarins 483

Ghost 486

The Song 489

Stay 491

Tarp 497

Two Dogs 500

3. Earthly Love

Hero 506

Afternoon Tango 513

Two Birthdays 517

Whiteout 520

Forced Entry 523

Seurat 527

The Leopard 533

Raccoon 536

Flag of the Nude 541

The Bull 543

Orogeny 547

4. Chosen

Chosen 554

Where We Grew Up 559

Harvest 560

The Visiting Revivalist 561

The Girl Who Told 563

Advice 564

Freeway Rescues 565

River Boat 566