A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer by Christine Schutt

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The title of Christine Schutt's second collection strikes the theme of swiftly passing time that runs through each of the stories. In "The Life of the Palm and the Breast" a woman watches her half-grown children running through the house and wonders: Whose boys are these? Whose life is this? The title story tells of a grandfather who has lived long enough to see his daughter's struggles echoed in his granddaughter and how her unhappiness leads him to unexpectedly feel the weight of his years. In "Darkest of All" a mother's relationship with her sons is wreaked by a repeated cycle of drugs and abusive relationships, the years pass and the pain-and its chosen remedy-remains the same. The narrator in "Winterreise" evokes Thoreau and strives to be heroic in the face of her longtime friend's imminent death, a harsh reminder of the time that is allotted to each of us.

Schutt's indomitable, original talent is once again on full display in each of these deeply informed, intensely realized stories. Many of the narratives take place in a space as small as a house, where the doors are many and what is hidden behind these thin domestic barriers tends towards violence, abusive sex, and mental anguish. Schutt opens these doors in sudden, bold moments that also reveal how the characters are often hopeful, even optimistic. With a style that is at once sensual and spare, dreamlike and deliberate, she exposes the terrible intimacy of the rooms and corridors of our innermost lives.

About Christine Schutt

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Christine Schutt is the author of the novel Florida (Northwestern, 2004), a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award for Fiction, and Nightwork (Dalkey Archive, 2000), a collection of short stories, poet John Ashbery's selection for the best book of 1996 for the Times Literary Supplement. She lives and teaches in New York City.
Published August 6, 2013 by Open Road Media. 91 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer

The New York Times

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their awful sex is more a result of nerves than longing, and too much of it just leads to a ''mucousy consequence.'' There are only a few really old characters, one of whom actually seems almost happy, perhaps because her goal is ''to live each day as well as we can,'' like her hero, Thoreau.

Jul 03 2005 | Read Full Review of A Day, A Night, Another Day, ...

Publishers Weekly

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later, getting her back rubbed by her younger, less screwed-up son, she longs for the idyllic days of their youth: "Jean had lifted the wisps of hair from off their baby scalps, marked as the moon, with their stitched plates of bone yet visible, the boys;

May 30 2005 | Read Full Review of A Day, A Night, Another Day, ...

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