The News from Spain

Seven Variations on a Love Story

By Joan Wickersham
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307958884, 224pp.)

Publication Date: October 9, 2012

List Price: $24.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2012 Indie Next List
“The messengers delivering The News From Spain vary among the stories in Wickersham's collection, but each serve to remind the reader how a short story can rank with the thickest novel as a vehicle for rich character development and breathtaking plot. The stories take us from an assisted living home to a boys' prep school, from a New York apartment where a paralyzed dancer is confined to a first-person story by Mozart's librettist set within a contemporary tale. Anyone who doubts that the short story form offers a satisfying literary experience should read this extraordinary collection.”
-- Cheryl McKeon, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA


Description

“Joan Wickersham’s brilliant The News From Spain shows, in all its twisty beauty, what a short story collection can do. The stories are gorgeous in themselves, but the way they speak to each other is truly extraordinary.”—Elizabeth McCracken, author of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

From the author of the acclaimed memoir The Suicide Index, a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding, much less controlling, it.

In these seven beautifully wrought variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories range over centuries and continents—from eighteenth-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president’s wife. A race-car driver’s widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer—all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination.




About the Author

Joan Wickersham was born in New York City. She is the author of two previous books, most recently The Suicide Index, a National Book Award finalist. Her fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her op-ed column appears regularly in The Boston Globe; she has published essays and reviews in the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune; and she has contributed on-air essays to National Public Radio. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons.

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