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The Fireman's Wife and Other Stories
     

The Fireman's Wife and Other Stories

by Richard Bausch
 

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Richard Bausch gets deep inside of people's lives. He speaks eloquently for and to all of us about the intricacies of relationships--their fragility and their inherent possibility for explosion.

Overview

Richard Bausch gets deep inside of people's lives. He speaks eloquently for and to all of us about the intricacies of relationships--their fragility and their inherent possibility for explosion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In these 10 stories, some of which first appeared in the New Yorker , Esquire and the Atlantic Monthly , Bausch ( Mr. Field's Daughter ) displays a powerful and consistent talent. The title story and its sequel, ``Consolation,'' examine the lives of two firemen and their wives, before and after tragedy. ``Luck'' is narrated by the son of an alcoholic housepainter. When his father disappears on another bender, leaving him to finish a big job, he is astonished to discover that the rich man who had hired them considers him the lucky one. In the final tale, ``Letter to the Lady of the House,'' Bausch has created something exquisite in the form of a letter from a man of 70 to his wife of nearly 50 years. Written in the night, after ``another of those long, silent evenings after an argument (remember?) over pepper,'' the letter is a profound declaration of love and understanding. Inventing remarkable, ordinary folks whose lives seize our attention, Bausch tells graceful, shapely stories, impressive in their sweep, deeply moving, insightful and witty. Two of these stories have been chosen for Best American Short Stories 1990. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The epigraph for this collection of ten stories is a brief quotation from Keats--``Happy love, more happy, happy love.'' Bausch does indeed portray the joys of marriage and family life, but he also reveals the pain lurking just below the surface. In ``Wedlock'' the levity of a honeymoon night suddenly turns mean. In ``Equity'' three adult daughters must cope with a senile mother who previously supported them through divorces, nervous breakdowns, and other crises. Most of the stories have contemporary urban settings, but ``Old West'' is a retelling of the Shane story that takes away all of the legendary gunfighter's heroism. Bausch's well-crafted stories should have wide appeal. Bausch is the author of Take Me Back ( LJ 2/15/81), which received a Pen/Faulkner Award Citation, plus numerous other novels, including the recent Mr. Field's Daughter ( LJ 5/15/89). His latest story collection was Spirits and Other Stories ( LJ 6/1/87).-- Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
Bette Pesetsky
"Like Raymond Carver, Mr. Bausch can write fine lines with a directness that allows for no erors. His dialogue, like that of Bobbie Ann Mason, has just the right sound. Perhaps, on consideration, it is misleading to say that his characters are ordinary people, for against the unthinking rush of our current culture, they seek a pattern in life. They are inarticulate neither in voice nor in thought." -- New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671661373
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/1990
Pages:
219

Meet the Author

Richard Bausch is the author of twelve novels, including In the Night Season, Hello to the Cannibals, and Before, During, After. He has also written eight collections of short stories, among them a Modern Library edition of selected stories, The Stories of Richard Bausch, and most recently, Something is Out There. In 2012, he won the prestigious Rea Award for the Short Story. Bausch teaches creative writing at Chapman University.

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