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More Stories We Tell

More Stories We Tell

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Add This - More Stories We Tell

Written by Wendy MartinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Wendy Martin

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon
  • On Sale: April 27, 2004
  • Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-71450-4 (0-375-71450-2)
about this book

In this anthology, Wendy Martin offers us an assortment of stellar short stories written by North American women over the past thirty years. In reading these stories we see how vast and varied is the landscape of American fiction: We are transported from a Midwestern strip mine town in the 1970s, where a Vietnam veteran traumatized by his memories of war almost tears his family apart, to a college campus in San Francisco, where we witness the unexpected romance between an earnest Chinese medical student and a young schoolteacher from Arkansas. We hear voices from all across the racial and socioeconomic spectrum: a Mexican-American woman young woman who makes a habit of sleeping with white men while their wives are giving birth; a Chinese grandmother who tries to discipline her American granddaughter using traditional Chinese pedagogical techniques; a group of working class black schoolchildren who are shocked and offended by the price tags at F.A.O. Schwartz. And finally, we see how the constellation of important relationships in women's lives—daughters and fathers, wives and husbands, mothers and children—has shifted in recent decades, as women have asserted their own voices as caretakers, breadwinners, scholars, sisters, and lovers.

Each of these stories is a masterpiece of the genre, perfectly crafted to create a whole world in just a few pages. Some are by classic practitioners of the form—Alice Munro, Ann Beattie, Joyce Carol Oates—whose familiarity reflects the emergency of a female American fictional canon. Here, too, are stories by exciting new voices that have only recently emerged on the literary scene: Jumpa Lahiri, ZZ Packer, and Marisa Silver. Narrated with depth, detail, intimacy, and complexity, these stories attest to the enduring talent and dedication of American women writers.

“This wonderful collection gives us a rich sense of the varieties of female experience, allowing us to experience nuanced, insightful, gripping, and sometimes humorous accounts of the emotional and cultural-political worlds in which women create their lives.” —Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering

More Stories We Tell builds a many-chambered honeycomb out of myriad female experiences, and the whole is subtly greater than the sum of the intricate parts. The anthology is a pleasure to read from beginning to end—expertly selected fiction that would be at home in any 'Best Of' collection. A book to give as well as to savor.” —Diane Middlebrook, author of Her Husband: Hughes and Plath—A Marriage

Praise for We Are the Stories We Tell:

“Embracing Anne Tyler's portrait of a wife saddled with an inept husband who can't even fix a leaky faucet and Tama Janowitz's evocation of a hip, jaded New Yorker enslaved by a lover who holds the lease on their apartment, the women and girls in these 26 tales are complex personalities at the mercy of life's mundane cycles, woes and joys . . . Excellent pieces from accomplished writers.” —Publishers Weekly

“This book lives up to its title [We are the Stories We Tell]. While our literary traditions have emphasized European origins and writers who are predominantly white and male, these stories offer a more complete rendering of human experience. Written by women of African, Asian, Native American, Hispanic, and Jewish background, they explore terrain not treated before with depth, detail, complexity, and intimacy . . . This book belongs on the shelves of every library that houses the best in the humanities.” —Addie Lee Bracy, Library Journal


Editor’s Introduction
Toni Cade Bambara: The Lesson (1972)
Ann Beattie: The Burning House (1979)
Bobbie Ann Mason: Big Bertha Stories (1982)
Amy Hempel: Beg, Sl Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep (1985)
Ellen Gilchrist: Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle (1989)
Stephanie Vaughn: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog (1990)
Margaret Atwood: Hairball (1991)
Amy Bloom: Silver Water (1991)
Sandra Cisneros: Never Marry a Mexican (1991)
Joyce Carol Oates: Love, Forever (1992)
Jamaica Kincaid: Song of Roland (1993)
Andrea Barrett: The Littoral Zone (1996)
Mary Gaitskill: Tiny, Smiling Daddy (1997)
Gish Jen: Who’s Irish? (1998)
Lorrie Moore: Dance in America (1998)
Lynn Freed: Ma, a Memoir (1999)
Jhumpa Lahiri: A Temporary Matter (1999)
Alice McDermott: Enough (2000)
Alice Munro: Floating Bridge (2000)
ZZ Packer: Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2000)
Marisa Silver: The Passenger (2000)
Louise Erdich: The Shawl (2001)
Andrea Lee: The Birthday Present (2001)
Grace Paley: My Father Addresses Me on the Facts of Old Age (2002)
About the Authors