- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
Binocular Vision (Demy Hardback) Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Pearlman writes about the predicaments odd, wry, funny and painful of being human . . . [Her] view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments. Her characters inhabit terrain that all of us recognize, one defined by anxieties and longing, love and grief, loss and exultation. These quiet, elegant stories add something significant to the literary landscape (The New York Times)
The literary discovery of 2013... lucid, witty, devastating... a masterclass on how to deliver literature's bittersweet blow in simply a few pages (Sunday Telegraph)
No devotee of the short-story form will be unfamiliar with this quietly gifted American artist... She has written more great stories than one writer could expect, even during a 40-year career. Unfair? Life's like that (Eileen Battersby Irish Times)
About the Author
Edith Pearlman, born in 1936, published her debut collection of stories in 1996, at age 60. Last year, she won The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for Binocular Vision. She has published over 250 works of short fiction in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and online publications. Her work has won three O. Henry Prizes, the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, and a Mary McCarthy Prize, among others. In 2011, Pearlman was the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award, which puts her in the ranks of John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, and other luminaries.
Top customer reviews
I think that may be no exaggeration. Each story creates a whole world with economy, involving the reader in that world and in the lives of the central characters. Often I was reluctant to leave them behind as the story ended.
Some of her characters may have unusual choices to make, yet it is always possible to identify with them and their dilemmas.
Her prose is unfussy, precise, on occasions magical.
I intend to reread - one day.
Most of her stories are set in Boston, specifically in the fictional suburban Godolphin, and many of her characters are Jewish Americans. However, Pearlman rather adroitly inhabits the soul of any one character, whether it be the simultaneous guileless and confident seven-year old girl who becomes separated from her parents in "Inbound", or a 67-year old man who mentors a 17-year old Russian immigrant on American History and much more, in "Girl in Blue with Brown Bag", among many others.
One of the more absorbing stories is "Days of Awe", where a retiree Robert pays a visit to his gay son, Lex, in Central America to see his newly-adopted grandson for the first time, and his touching attempts to bond with the boy, as he deals with his contradictory feelings. He reflects, in one instance, when Lex refuses his money for a trip: "A disappointing fellow. May you, too, have a son like mine, Robert thought - the old curse, the old blessing."
Her prose is glowing, and she mixes the familiar with such an interesting detail that it startles you and forces you to revisit the phrase again, for example in "Vallies", a woman with a mysterious past who somewhat reluctantly becomes a housekeeper for a series of families. At the playground, she observes: "The mommies - there were some of those, too, unmannerly - ignored her entirely: they were too busy boasting about their children as if someday they meant to sell them."
Set in locations around the globe, the reader is taken from Western Europe to Russia, to Israel, Latin America, Central America and beyond, where we have the opportunity to experience other people's emotions as they struggle to cope with a variety of feelings and, for some, a feeling of displacement and disconnection. In these stories, whether the author is writing about a lost child in an unfamiliar landscape; a couple helping to relocate Jews in Europe after World War II; a 10-year-old girl who spends her afternoons spying on her neighbours as she imagines the story of their marriage; an elderly woman in a hospital confessing to her doctor of her mother's secret tryst in the woods with the Tsar; or an elderly couple's decision to shoplift, then Edith Pearlman is able to dissect through to the inner life of her characters to reveal the extraordinary lying beneath the surface.
Some of these stories are closely related and others stand alone, like small jewels; sometimes you might think you know how a story is going to develop, but then the author turns it into something quite different. I originally started this review listing my favourite stories and some of the best pieces of prose, but I found so much to remark on throughout the book that if I had continued, this would have been a very long review. So, if you are looking for some wonderful short stories and some elegant, perceptive and intelligent writing, then this is one for you - a book to read slowly, to think about, and a book to keep on your bookshelf so that you can read and experience it again.