Let Me be the One
By Elisabeth Harvor
Emblem Editions, Paperback, 9780771039652, 216pp.
Publication Date: September 18, 2001
List Price: $12.95*
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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 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.
“Elisabeth Harvor’s beautiful and fluid stories capture moments in people’s lives with a rare moral clarity.…And what an artist she is.…”
“Splendid.…These fine stories mock their eerie ironies and invite us to share their powerfully rendered concerns.”
“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.…”
“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.”
“The characters’ yearnings seem painfully, beautifully ardent and real.”
“[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.”