Esther Stories by Peter Orner

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One of the most acclaimed and original story collections of the last decade, Peter Orner's first book explores the brief but far-reaching occasions that haunt us.

The discovery of a murdered man in a bathrobe by the side of a road, the destruction of a town's historic City Hall building, and the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid and intimate gaze. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers across the American landscape, and the second introduces two very different Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. Yet Orner's real territory is memory, and this book of wide-ranging and innovative stories remains an important and unique contribution to the art of the American short story.

About Peter Orner

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Peter Orner is the author of two other books, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. Some of the stories in Esther Stories first appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Epoch, North American Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Southern Review, among other periodicals. One was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 2001, and another in The Pushcart Prize XXVI. Orner was born in Chicago and now lives in San Francisco.
Published April 23, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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The New York Times

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A debut collection of stories examines varieties of yearning across time and place.

Nov 04 2001 | Read Full Review of Esther Stories

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Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak 26 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list