Lost in Uttar Pradesh
New and Selected Stories
By Evan S. Connell
(Counterpoint, Hardcover, 9781593761752, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 2008
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Although he may be best known for his novels Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge, or perhaps for his brilliant biography of Custer, Son of the Morning Star, Evan S. Connell is an undisputed master of the short story. His restraint, concision, and perfect pitch lend themselves beautifully to the form, and he intuitively senses when to explain and when to let silence stand in speech’s stead. Lost in Uttar Pradesh collects new work by Connell along with some of his earlier masterpieces. Memorable characters like the corpulent Mr. Bemis, Katia and her lion, and a wanderer back from Spain ring true not because their stories are filled with monumental events but because they center around seemingly insignificant events that somehow remain in the mind. Through Connell’s mastery, the most trivial happening, the voice that speaks only once, resonates far beyond the final page.