Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Dog of the Marriage

Finished October 22
The Dog of the Marriage: the Collected Short Stories by Amy Hempel

This book is actually four short story collections brought into one volume. Reasons to Live (1985), At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990), Tumble Home (1997), and The Dog of the Marriage (2005). The stories range widely in length, with the shortest, Memoir, being just one sentence, and Tumble Home running to 68 pages. The stories themselves are generally told in first person, with the self not usually identified overtly. Hempel shows her range here, from humour to grief, with characters as flawed as we all are. Her writing is strong and often intense, bringing up images from the words.
A collection where every story seems original, not a repeat of situations or feelings from previous stories. Well worth reading.

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