The Complexities of Intimacy by Mary Caponegro

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"The music of Mary Caponegro's stories is to the mouth what wine is. Readers will find themselves lost among answers, intoxicated, knowing only that these are stories unlike any others before or since, which is, for this reader at least, a relief, a challenge, and a godsend."—William Gass

A breathtaking stylist, Caponegro imbues her sardonic, surreal text with startling details: a sister with a secret tail, a brother who invents a hammock from a harp, and precocious children who choose their own parents. Buoyed by her arch, Jamesian prose and psychological tone, Caponegro's stories are as delicately intricate as the fragile and difficult familial relationships they describe.

Mary Caponegro's short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions and Sulfur. Her previous short story collections include The Star Café and Five Doubts.


About Mary Caponegro

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Mary Caponegro's story collections include The Star Café and The Complexities of Intimacy. Her stories have been anthologized in The Anchor Book of New American Fiction, The Italian American Reader, and Wild Dreams: The Best of Italian Americana. Born in Brooklyn, she has lived in Italy and now resides in the Hudson Valley where she teaches at Bard College.
Published October 1, 2001 by Coffee House Press. 233 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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“Epilogue of the Progeny” offers the possibility of children selecting their parents, based on the sales pitches they’re given, then being handed the option weekly to change their minds or consider better offers, a prospect that fills the child-narrator with despair.

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