Read Referred Pain: And Other Stories by Lynne Sharon Schwartz Free Online
Book Title: Referred Pain: And Other Stories|
The author of the book: Lynne Sharon Schwartz
The size of the: 7.78 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: October 18th 2005
ISBN 13: 9781582433028
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1663 times
Reader ratings: 6.5
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Cut to the Chase:
Referred Pain introduces us to an eclectic group of protagonists and situations; some are surreal and fable-like. “Twisted Tales” and “The Stone Master” have unnamed protagonists trying to shift their way through imagined and imaginary fears and foes and have traces of Aimee Bender’s fantastical fiction. The stronger works in this collection, however, focus on the everyday domestic situations and dramas which, often against the will of the readily recognized and empathy-inducing protagonists, are shaped by everyday crises. Like any collection, there are ups and downs, but overall, I laughed and empathized with many of the characters here, making it a worthwhile read.
As always with collections, here are some selected synopses:
“Hostages of Fortune” – an older married couple wrestle (literally and emotionally) with redefining their roles now that their children (whom we gradually learn our protagonist never truly wanted) have grown and flown.
“Twisted Tales” – a series of connected short shorts with unnamed protagonists struggling to align themselves with the world around them: a woman who is convinced she was born into the wrong language, another who barricades herself against all clutter (including members of her family: her husband, her children) so that she might finally be able to think in peace
“The Stone Master” – a wrong turn in a rainstorm lands a moderate celebrity in an almost fantastical town where citizens have stones of light
“The Word” – short short about missed opportunities which seems to be thematic center for the collection
“Intrusions” – my favorite in the collection, a writing professor follows her own exercise and writes about a long-ago incident where she came closest to feeling genuine fear and then reflects on her own telling of the tale: where is it least genuine, most manipulative, what if she had told it all differently?
“Deadly Nightshade” – another fantastical premise: a woman is the first in her village to eat a tomato
Schwartz’s characters are deftly honest about their frailties (divorced parents who reconnect for one night after their son’s wedding in “The Trip to Halawa Valley”) and frighteningly self-aware (a writing professor reflects on the full impact of a story she has written about a long-ago boy intruder in “Intrusions.”) Though there are weaker moments (the more fantastical tales lack the genuine specificity which infuses other stories), what holds this collection together is the wry and often surprising humor found in everyday, almost commonplace dramas. Just as Koslowski learns to endure his little discomforts and finds ways to be moderately heroic in daily life, earning “his right to live,” the string of genuine moments and propelling dialogue saves and justifies the collection as a whole.
Comparisons to Other Authors:
The stories that I enjoyed in this were more about missed opportunities and kind of remembered suffering in a way that maybe reminds me of some of Joyce Carol Oates’s stories (though Oates is so prolific I feel like I might as well not have said that). Specifically, I guess this collection reminded me of some of the short stories in Oates’s Faithless (though I enjoyed the latter a little more), and some of the fantastical stories are like some of what Atwood or Garcia Marquez writes (though again, the comparison would make this one the slightly weaker link).
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Read information about the authorLynne Sharon Schwartz (b. 1939) is a celebrated author of novels, poems, short fiction, and criticism. Schwartz began her career with a series of short stories before publishing her first novel, the National Book Award–nominated Rough Strife (1980). She went on to publish works of memoir, poetry, and translation. Her other novels have included the award-nominated Leaving Brooklyn (1989) and Disturbances in the Field (1983). Her short fiction has appeared in theBest American Short Stories annual anthology series several times. In addition, her reviews and criticism have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. Schwartz lives in New York City, and is currently a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars.
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