Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

Author: Amy Hempel

First line: My heart--I thought it stopped.

Why you should read this book: Comprising the complete text of Hempel's four previous collections, this book, named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, brings together her entire body of work. The themes of dogs, death, divorce, and beach days run through her amazing, naked prose, spinning strings of small, true observations woven together into a vast tapestry of real life. These stories are short, sharp, smart, and passionate, a series of snapshots framed to encompass the most telling details, leaving the reader to come to a deductive understanding of the writer's reality.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You really, really don't like dogs, even in print.

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