The discovery of a murdered man in a bathrobe by the side of a road, the destruction of a town's historic City Hall building, and the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid and intimate gaze. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers across the American landscape, and the second introduces two very different Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. Yet Orner's real territory is memory, and this book of wide-ranging and innovative stories remains an important and unique contribution to the art of the American short story.
About the Author
Peter Orner is the author of three widely praised books, Esther Stories and The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and The Best American Short Stories, and has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. A former Guggenheim Fellow, Orner is now a faculty member at San Francisco State University.
Praise for ESTHER STORIES (2001)
"There's startling intimacy in every story of Peter Orner's debut collection."—Judy Doenges, Washington Post
"I was stunned by a sentence or two in every one of the works in Esther Stories." —Rick Moody, The Hartford Courant
"A luminous debut collection. . . .Like Amy Bloom and Charles Baxter, Orner has a gift for revealing how the tragic and the mundane occupy equal berths in our limited mental space."—John Freeman, Chicago Tribune
"Some of Orner's very short stories are the best of that form that I have read since Isaac Babel's."—Andre Dubus
"If the short story were in need of a future, it has been found in Peter Orner."—Dennis Lehane
"These are stories of unusual delicacy and beauty, and this is a remarkable collection."—Charles Baxter
"Orner doesn't simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls."—Margot Livesey, New York Times Book Review
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