The Mitfords would have called Edith Pearlman an ‘intie’, and that is what she is. Pearlman is a scholar and a New Englander by both birth and preference, and she gives us an insight into everyday America that we non-Americans rarely get a chance to discover. In Honeydew, her latest offering of twenty short-stories, she writes of struggle, inner-conflict, grief, poverty, the challenges facing women-of-a-certain age, and other unpleasant things. Pearlman strips away the all-American backdrop to reveal the bare-bones of society, human relationships and the sacrifices we make for love and friendship.
Tom Barbash’s Stay Up With Me takes us to New York City and offers the insight of human relationships from a male perspective. Observant, funny and moving, Barbash’s thirteen short-stories look at the everyday men and women we all know, their inner-lives and the myriad ways they seek to connect. Brief but poignant, Barbash gets to the root of human-nature. His portrayals are both honest and alarming.
The elegant cover of Katherine Heiny’s Single, Carefree, Mellow conceals the lives of modern women stripped bare to reveal the turmoil and, sometimes, the unrequited love we feel in all aspects of our relationships. Set in New York City, the fast-paced city life mirrors the swiftness of Heiny’s writing. Fidelity is a strong theme throughout the individual stories, and it bonds the characters to the decisions they make, their connection to other people (also in a non-romantic sense) and how it influences their daily existence. A look at how fickle the human heart can be, Heiny’s flawed characters are saved by her witty observations and subtle use of humour.