Truthtelling: Stories, Fables, Glimpses (Hardcover)
With her new, dazzling collection of short fiction, Schwartz has propelled herself to the front rank of inventive short story writers such as George Saunders and David Means. Her characters are indefatigable New Yorkers whose daily lives are thwarted by a swerve of fate or a mishap or a time warp. A man lends his car to his ex-wife and is bewildered when she makes implausible excuses not to return it. A sophisticated high-end clothing store owner is taken in and manipulated by an ailing elderly neighbor who then leaves her all earthly possessions. A woman visits her ex-husband and his younger wife and realizes with a mixture of fascination and dismay how her former husband has been physically and psychologically debilitated by his new marriage. The characters from her early prize-winning novel, Rough Strife, reappear in middle-age, facing a life-threatening crisis. Schwartz’s characters, presented with her impeccable style, reflect her many decades of accumulating wisdom and her sharp perspective. Contemplating the past, one of her characters muses, “Memory is so prone to digression. To sustain a logical or chronological sequence, we must keep dragging our minds off their natural course, like a cowboy tugging on a calf with a rope around its neck who wants to run off into the fields.” With this sort of nuanced thinking, Schwartz’s fiction brings an original and piquant angle of intelligence to the matter of how to navigate our complex lives.
About the Author
Lynne Sharon Schwartz is the author of twenty-three books that include the novels Disturbances in the Field Leaving Brooklyn a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and Rough Strife a finalist for the National Book Award She has also published non-fiction short stories a memoir essays and translations Schwartz is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and translation and the New York State Foundation for the Arts She has taught widely in the United States and abroad and currently teaches at the Bennington College Writing Seminars and the Columbia University School of the Arts
"Meticulously crafted. . . . This first-rate collection demonstrates why Schwartz remains an American literary treasure."
— Publishers Weekly
“A grab bag of realist and experimental stories, each one a treasure . . . Wise, wry, and witty—theses stories in all their stylistic variations are perfect.”
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This excellent writer has the great gift of making even the slightest of domestic situations feel richly alive to the pleasures we allow and the punishments we inflict on ourselves and one another. It is a joy to read this latest collection of her short fictions.”
— Vivian Gornick, author of Fierce Attachments: A Memoir
“These wonderful stories about our need for connection and our sense of alienation are timely and timeless at once. Lynne Sharon Schwartz is a dazzling writer.”
— Hilma Wolitzer, author of Hearts
“This elegant new collection includes some of Schwartz’s most surprising and satisfying short works, demonstrating anew her sustained powers as a writer, through an astonishing 28 books and 40 years.”
— Alix Kates Shulman, author of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen
“[Schwartz’s] insights are at once sympathetic and drenched with irony."
— The New York Times on Rough Strife
“Disturbances in the Field seems a more-than-welcome return to a classic idea of the novel... A wonder to read... I can think of no other contemporary writer who writes so well, with such rich sensuality.”
— Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Wonderful... It goes beyond literature and philosophy to a tough, battered truth.”
— The New York Times on Disturbances in the Field
“A quiet masterwork of late 20th-century American realism.”
— Kirkus Reviews on Disturbances in the Field
“The book has the architecture of a sonata.”
— San Jose Mercury News on Disturbances in the Field
"[R]eading Schwartz is like a pleasurable visit with a thoughtful and articulate friend."
— Kirkus Reviews on This is Where We Come In
"Lynne Sharon Schwartz reaches into her heart, examines its intricacies, tinkers with little broken bits, and shows us what she’s learned—daring us to try this risky procedure at home."
— Los Angeles Review of Books on This is Where We Come In
“Schwartz is a connoisseur of anguish, especially survivor’s guilt, yet she is also an adept choreographer of romance. Incisive, unafraid to flirt with melodrama in pursuit of a compelling story, acutely descriptive yet to the point, she now brings to fiction the era-defining tragedy of September 11, 2001... [T]his is also a richly nuanced love story, a tale of earned trust and courageous receptivity in a time of fanaticism and war.”
— Booklist Starred Review on The Writing on the Wall