Tell Me by Mary Robison
30 Stories

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Synopsis

Chosen from Robison's three long-unavailable collections, along with four new stories, Tell Me reflects the early brilliance as well as the fulfilled promise of Mary Robison's literary career. In these stories (most of which have appeared in The New Yorker), we enter her sly world of plotters, absconders, ponderers, and pontificators. Robison's characters have chips on their shoulders; they talk back to us in language that is edgy and nervy; they say "all right" and "okay" often, not because they consent, but because nothing counts. Still, there are small victories here, small only because, as Robison precisely documents, larger victories are impossible. Here then, among others, is "Pretty Ice," chosen by Richard Ford for The Granta Book of American Short Stories, "Coach," chosen for Best American Short Stories, "I Get By," an O. Henry Prize Stories selection, and "Happy Boy, Allen," a Pushcart Prize Stories selection. These stories-sharp, cool, and astringently funny-confirm Mary Robison's place as one of our most original writers and led Richard Yates to comment, "Robison writes like an avenging angel, and I think she may be a genius."
 

About Mary Robison

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A widely published poet, critic, editor, and cultural historian, Geoffrey O'Brien has been honored with a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and is the editor-in-chief of The Library of America. He lives in New York City.
 
Published October 8, 2002 by Counterpoint. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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and the odd “Happy Boy, Allen,” about a young man visiting a drunk and probably disturbed aunt to discuss the matter of his widower father taking a new wife—and leaving the question of who’s more disturbed, the aunt or the nephew.

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Publishers Weekly

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Thirty brief, sharply delineated short stories written over three decades by Robison (Days) chronicle emotional dislocation with witty dispassion.

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Star Tribune

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Review: For decades, the New Yorker has showcased Robison's understated, emotionally resonant stories;

Dec 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Tell Me: 30 Stories

Entertainment Weekly

The opening of ''An Amateur's Guide to the Night'' finds a 17-year-old narrator stargazing from the passenger seat of her date's car: ''Behind us, in the little back seat, my date's friend was kissing my mom.'' She's one of several adolescents in this collection, but even its adults think li...

Dec 06 2002 | Read Full Review of Tell Me: 30 Stories

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