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Cover for Truthtelling


Stories, Fables, Glimpses

Lynne Sharon Schwartz


List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/6/2020)



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.

Praise For Truthtelling: Stories, Fables, Glimpses

 A grab bag of realist and experimental stories, each one a treasure… Wise, wry, and witty—these stories in all their stylistic variations are perfect.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The subject matter and themes seem just right for our alienated, absurdist times. Full of comic fantasy and controlled loony desperation, the stories—from two pages to two dozen—put Schwartz’s inventive talent on ample display.”

“The book is full of invention, soul, and wit, and also marks a departure from Schwartz’s earlier fictional work, as it explores aspects of choice and behavior that verge on the fantastic and surreal.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Wry, tender, practically omniscient.”
The Millions

"Meticulously crafted… This first-rate collection demonstrates why Schwartz remains an American literary treasure."
Publishers Weekly

“Splendid short stories… Word by word, Schwartz chooses her language with a surgeon’s precision. Her craftsmanship is a joy to behold.”
New York Journal of Books

“There is a certain pleasure in coming late to the writing of such an accomplished and prolific author. A reader has plenty of time, these days, to work backward through her canon… It doesn’t take a global health crisis to learn to find solace in retreat, yet it’s difficult to read this as anything but prophetic.”
Moment Magazine

“The stories in Truthtelling offer us an invitation to the unknown in ourselves and in the world. Turn to the impossible, they tell us, and explore it. As artists, as writers, as people living our lives. We cannot help but do so, after all, since the impossible is going to show up if we’re ready or not.”

“Each [story] has an almost other-worldly aspect to it as if the narrators are not quite grounded in reality. Somehow, despite when they were written, many of them hit home during these strange morose months of 2020.”
Manhattan Book Review

“Lynne Sharon Schwartz is a brilliant storyteller, and Truthtelling is filled with the kind of stories that will have readers thinking—and talking—about them long after they put the book down. If you are a short story fan, this is one collection you should not miss.”

“Filled with emotional appeal, the stories confront ordinary people, exposing their ordinary experiences and their ordinary dilemmas. The dreams and nightmares of these everyday characters, plucked from the streets of ‘everyman’s’ community, are explored deftly by the author.”

“In Truthtelling Schwartz moves effortlessly between realism and fantasy. Her characters are not so quirky as the things that happen to them, and her introspective writing lets the reader know exactly what they are feeling. Her writing is clear, with lovely turns of phrase worthy of the highlighter… These stories are a treasure.”
Book Trib

“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

Delphinium, 9781953002068, 224pp.

Publication Date: November 30, 2021

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.