New and Selected Stories
By Donald Hall
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618329816, 224pp.)
Publication Date: May 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Short Stories (single author)
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Willow Temple, combining six of the most "notable and moving stories" (Robert Taylor, Boston Globe) from the 1987 collection The Ideal Bakery with six new stories written in the years since, is Donald Hall's most important short fiction collection to date. "From Willow Temple" is the indelible story of a child's witness of her mother's adultery and of the earlier shocking loss that underlies it. The other stories, too, are reminiscent of Alice Munro and William Maxwell in their mastery of form, their deeply observed portrayals of the interior worlds of only children, and their ability to trace the emotional fault lines connecting generations. In three stories we see David Bardo at crucial junctures of his life, beginning as a child drawn to his parents' "cozy adult coven of drunks" and growing into a young man whose intense first affair undergirds a lifelong taste for the heady mix of ardor and betrayal. Hall's short stories give a "breathtakingly successful" (Chicago Tribune) account of the passionate weight of lives.
DONALD HALL, poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry, the Lenore Marshall Award, the 1990 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"...[T]his is a first-rate work by an author whose control over the tools of his genre is impeccable." Publishers Weekly
"Hall is a master of the patterns we only see when looking back." --Susan Salter Reynolds Los Angeles Times
"Like Thomas Hardy...Hall balances on sorrow's edge by virtue of an old-fashioned rigor; he never slips into self-pity on one side or sentimentality over the past on the other..." --Matthew Flamm The New York Times Book Review