The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Disclosure: This book was received free via the First-Reads program, with the understanding that I might read and review it.)
Not only "the collected stories", these are the complete stories of Deborah Eisenberg - four books in one very massive tome. This is a book to pick up and put down, read a story or two, go onto something lighter or maybe less introspective, and then come back to it when you have a hungering for a short visit to a deep place. I say deep, because no matter how much humor Eisenberg grants a character or a subject on the surface, you will be drawn down into stories that are so much more than their plots. There's a sort of progression through the four collections, starting with characters trying to define themselves by the people that surround them, then by the places they visit, until finally the stories that take familiar situations and challenge us to see them through the eyes of characters that we probably wouldn't run across every day in the real world.
There's a lot Virginia Woolf in Eisenberg's style, except that Eisenberg seems to like and sometimes even enjoy her characters. That makes reading even her darker and her most abstract stories for more enjoyable.
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