Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Splendid Debut

Over at The Second Pass, I review a new collection of short stories:
At the risk of drowning Lydia Peelle in praise right off the bat, it’s hard to think of many debut short story collections from the past two decades that so convincingly chart their emotional and geographical territory: Ethan Canin’s Emperor of the Air, Junot Díaz’s Drown, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. Peelle’s missteps would be peaks for most other writers, and her peaks — by my count, five of the eight stories in Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing qualify as such — make one almost angry this is a debut, like falling in love with a band’s first album and having no back catalog to immediately explore.


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