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  • Let Me be the One
  • Written by Elisabeth Harvor
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780771039652
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  • Let Me be the One
  • Written by Elisabeth Harvor
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9781551997025
  • Our Price: $9.99
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Let Me be the One

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Written by Elisabeth HarvorAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Elisabeth Harvor

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List Price: $9.99

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On Sale: March 15, 2012
Pages: | ISBN: 978-1-55199-702-5
Published by : Emblem Editions McClelland & Stewart
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
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Synopsis

Intimate and unforgettable, these eight stories play with themes of great emotional intensity: infatuation, tenderness, resentment, hope. The perceptive gallantry of a man in his early twenties leads an older woman to fall more than a little in love with him. While interviewing a woman painter who boasts about her sexual conquests, a journalist pictures the parts of the city where her husband goes to meet his mistress. A group of nurses play word games that symbolize the more lethal games played at the hospital where they are students. Sparkling, disarmingly honest, these remarkable stories evoke the thrilling and confounding predicament of being human.
Elisabeth Harvor

About Elisabeth Harvor

Elisabeth Harvor - Let Me be the One

Photo © Kim Chan

Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recently Let Me Be the One, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She is also the author of two poetry books, Fortress of Chairs, which won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring.

Harvor was the winner of the Alden Nowlan Award for the year 2000. Her fiction has been anthologized in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and has appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, The Malahat Review, and The Hudson Review. Harvor has been writer-in-residence at universities and libraries across Canada, and has also taught in creative writing programs at Concordia University, York University, and the Humber School for Writers.

Elisabeth Harvor has two sons, and lives in Ottawa.
Praise

Praise

“Elisabeth Harvor’s beautiful and fluid stories capture moments in people’s lives with a rare moral clarity.…And what an artist she is.…”
Edmonton Journal

“Splendid.…These fine stories mock their eerie ironies and invite us to share their powerfully rendered concerns.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Harvor brilliantly evokes a sense of something ominous lurking just out of sight, just beyond everyday consciousness – and undercuts her own dizzying effects with touches of black humour.”
New Brunswick Reader

Let Me Be the One sets out to recreate a feeling state, and does it.…[Harvor’s] stories are as precise and emotionally accurate as poetry.…”
Globe and Mail

“[These stories] hum with sexual tension.…”
Toronto Star

“Harvor demonstrates her prowess in this sparkling collection of stories. Readers are held in the grip of her characters’ predicaments as with a precise, original voice her straightforward prose – utterly devoid of gimmicks – flawlessly builds to glimmering resolutions, or irresolutions, as the case may be.”
Booklist

“The characters’ yearnings seem painfully, beautifully ardent and real.”
Other Voices

“[Her characters are] alive with hope…and a kind of subversiveness that gives them, and their stories, an edge.…Harvor creates fiction that has remarkable staying power.”
Maclean’s
Reader's Guide|Author Biography|Discussion Questions

About the Book

Intimate and unforgettable, these eight stories play with themes of great emotional intensity: infatuation, tenderness, resentment, hope. The perceptive gallantry of a man in his early twenties leads an older woman to fall more than a little in love with him. While interviewing a woman painter who boasts about her sexual conquests, a journalist pictures the parts of the city where her husband goes to meet his mistress. A group of nurses play word games that symbolize the more lethal games played at the hospital where they are students. Sparkling, disarmingly honest, these remarkable stories evoke the thrilling and confounding predicament of being human.

About the Author

Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recently Let Me Be the One, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She is also the author of two poetry books, Fortress of Chairs, which won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring.

Harvor was the winner of the Alden Nowlan Award for the year 2000. Her fiction has been anthologized in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and has appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, The Malahat Review, and The Hudson Review. Harvor has been writer-in-residence at universities and libraries across Canada, and has also taught in creative writing programs at Concordia University, York University, and the Humber School for Writers.

Elisabeth Harvor has two sons, and lives in Ottawa.

Discussion Guides

1. In two different stories in Let Me Be the One, young women try on evening dresses belonging to other women, but their experiences are not at all similar. In "Invisible Target" Linda tries on the dress of her younger sister Lorna, a larger and louder (but also more popular) girl, whereas in, "Through the Fields of Tall Grasses," the black satin dress that Caitlin tries to squeeze herself into belongs to the older but more petite Gloria. But could it also be argued that this second evening gown acts as an agent of redemption for Caitlin's brother?

2. In "Love Begins With Pity," Brad Hazlitt (a teacher who courts the adulation of his young women students) seems to have set Jessie up for an afternoon of failure. But there are bright spots, including Garrison Mierbachtol, the oldest student in the class. Does Garrison come to care for Jessie because he sees her being humiliated? And when Jessie gives the students "snow assignments" and asks Garrison to write about "snow in Chekhov and snow in Detroit," how much does Chekhov symbolize what is out of reach about her subsequent relationship with Garrison, and how much does Detroit symbolize the real world?

3. In "Two Women: The Interviews," Hope Lonetree and Delphine are polar opposites. Is Hope Lonetree a free spirit, or a boastful egomaniac? And is Delphine a neurotic, or is she a thoughtful person who understands that sexual encounters lose their integrity when they lose a sense of what's private?

4. How much do the word games the student nurses play at the beginning of "Invisible Target" symbolize the psychological games being played among the women in Linda's family? And does the fact that Linda is rejected by her mother help her to be more independent? Or do you feel that the pain of exclusion will lead to psychological difficulties for her somewhere down the road?

5. In "A Mad Maze Made by God," is Barbara being too protective toward her son? And does the mystery wedding guest (with his necktie looking as if it's been woven out of bits of bright straw) symbolize what can be dark, unpredictable, in the midst of celebration? Or is the gold of the bits of straw after all hopeful? Connie and Barbara also steep the wedding veil in a pot of hot tea (another suggestion of darkness) and yet in the wedding pictures Barbara and Bruce, ducking under the archway of crossed ski-poles, look bashfully jubilant. Should they be?

6. In "Freakish Vine That I Am," how much do you feel that the husband, in asking to use the phone in his ex-wife's bedroom, is hoping to spy on her personal life? And are the narrator's riffs on her subsequent experience with the cashier an over-reaction, or merely the reaction, that will help her deal with a demeaning interlude?

7. In "There Goes the Groom," Harvor uses Kris's story to play against the romantic narratives that have grown up around marriage (all the ritual and hoopla symbolized by the words here comes the bride). How much does the imagery ("whole groves of leafy trees were bridal with poison blossoms," for instance, or "his tiepin was stuck into an expensive silk tie the dull pink of a snout") work to support this story's themes?

8. How much does the innovative form Harvor uses in "Through the Fields of Tall Grasses" support the emotional upheaval in this story's narrative? And do you feel that the story is about incest? Or do you feel that since neither kissing, sexual intercourse, nor force are used, it's rather a story about children who are using sex and marriage games to deal with the sexual feelings that arise as they approach adolescence?


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