WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
THE STORY PRIZE FINALIST
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE, SUNDAY TIMES, LONDON
In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these twenty-one vintage selected stories and thirteen scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.
No matter the situation in which her characters find themselves—an unforeseen love affair between adolescent cousins, a lifetime of memories unearthed by an elderly couple's decision to shoplift, the deathbed secret of a young girl's forbidden forest tryst with the tsar, the danger that befalls a wealthy couple's child in a European inn of misfits—Edith Pearlman conveys their experience with wit and aplomb, with relentless but clear-eyed optimism, and with a supple prose that reminds us, sentence by sentence, page by page, of the gifts our greatest verbal innovators can bestow.
Binocular Vision reveals a true American original, a master of the story, showing us, with her classic sensibility and lasting artistry, the cruelties, the longings, and the rituals that connect human beings across space and time.
“Her writing is intelligent, perceptive, funny, and quite beautiful . . . Pearlman’s view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments . . . The volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one. Maybe from now on everyone will know of Edith Pearlman.” —Roxana Robinson, New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice
“All of the pieces here have been exquisitely arranged to make this book . . . The effect is not so much of a sampling as of a suite . . . [Binocular Vision] enacts a worldview in thirty-four precise and subtle movements, reminding us that if connection is elusive, there is nobility in perseverance, and that we are almost always greater than the sum of our parts.” —David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
“There is a vast difference between reading Pearlman’s stories in a magazine or anthology and reading this collection . . . Depictions of people, places, and manners are so perfect that the stories become totally immersive . . . Give this wonderful collection to fans of such classic short story writers as Andre Dubus and Alice Munro and novelists like Nicole Krauss. They will thank you.” —Booklist, starred review
“A finely tuned collection by writer’s writer Edith Pearlman combines the best of previous collections with austere, polished new work . . . This should win new converts for Pearlman.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Lovely and lyrical—a celebration of language and another virtuoso performance from a writer who does indeed deserve to be better known.” —Kirkus, starred review
“Binocular Vision should be the book with which Edith Pearlman casts off her secret-handshake status and takes up her rightful position as a national treasure. Put her stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That’s where they belong.” —Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto, from the Introduction
“Edith Pearlman is an absolute master of the form: these are stories that abjure tricks and flash for brilliantly drawn characters, classic construction, and language that sings and aches all at once.” —T.C. Boyle, author of The Women
“Edith Pearlman is a master of the short story…Her characters are complicated, fully alive. You can’t stop reading, because you know they’ll astonish you on the very next page.” —Alice Mattison, author of The Book Borrower
- National Book Award in Fiction
- National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction
- The Story Prize
- The Los Angeles Times Book Prize
- PEN/MALAMUD AWARD