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The Faber Book of Contemporary Stories about Childhood [Paperback]

Lorrie Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jan 1998
In this dazzling selection some of today's best writers, including Margaret Atwood, Toni Cade Bambara, Spalding Gray, Jamaica Kincaid, Susan Minot, Alice Munro, Edna O'Brien, Ben Okri and Amy Tan capture childhood incidents that are comic, startling, touching and disturbing. Each story is told by a child character or by the adult who was that child, skilfully preserving the child's voice and role as actor and witness in the drama. They explore pivotal moments in childhood when something becomes known, something is tested, some turning point reached, showing us the ways in which adult actions resonate through children, and the real import of childhood perceptions, allegiances and decisions.

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (5 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571192017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571192014
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 594,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lorrie Moore is the award-winning author of the story collections Self-Help, Like Life, and Birds of America, and the novels Anagrams and Who will Run the Frog Hospital? She currently teaches English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 30 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Started reading on holiday and had to leave behind, so ordered a copy on returning home - so it must be good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Making sure they get home safely 18 Sep 2009
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Written mostly by American writers, this collection has a marvellous feel of truth. One might have wished for more British examples of the genre, but it is varied for all that. Among my favourites was the Sri Lankan writer Romesh Gunsekera's story about a ten-year-old boy working as a servant in a volatile household with a cruel overseer but a kind master. I also loved Marly Swick's story, Heart, about a girl of the same name who is taken to live with an uncle and aunt when her parents' marriage breaks down. Amy Tan's story about a girl who becomes a chess champion is another evocative vignette, and Richard Yates's story about a family in New York is superb. Other stand-out stories by Leonard Michaels, Stephanie Vaughn, Spalding Grey, Ellen Gilchrist and John Bennet, make this a memorable and exciting collection of childhood stories.

There is a strength and a suppleness to almost all of the writing here - the editor, Lorrie Moore, one of America's best short story writers, has a very sure ear for what reads strongly and sympathetically on the page. There is no sentimentality or mawkishness about childhood in this collection.

Perhaps my favourite story in this collection is Charles D'Ambrosio's perfect and moving story about a young boy who is given the job of making sure his mother's drunken friends get home safely from her innumerable parties, along the beach front where they are living. It so clearly expresses the tolerance and forgiving wisdom of children when faced with the horrendous mistakes made by adults in the grip of alcohol. It is also very, very funny.

Few of these stories seemed make-weight, but one from Ben Okri read rather blandly, despite its picture of warring parents, and there were a couple of rather wafty, vague little pieces that never got to grips with their subjects, but the vast majority of them proved a delight to read.
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