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Who Do You Love


About The Book

In this acclaimed collection, Jean Thompson limns the lives of ordinary people -- a lonely social worker, a down-and-out junkie, a divorced cop on the night shift -- to extraordinary effect. With wisdom and sympathy and spare eloquence, she writes of their inarticulate longings for communion and grace.Yet even the saddest situations are imbued with Thompson¹s characteristic humor and a wry glimmer of hope. With Who Do You Love, readers will discover a writer with rare insight into the resiliency of the human spirit and the complexities of love.

About The Author

Marion Ettlinger

Jean Thompson is a novelist and short story writer. Her works include the novels A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, She Poured Out Her Heart, The Humanity Project, The Year We Left Home, City Boy, Wide Blue Yonder, The Woman Driver, and My Wisdom and the short story collections The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told, Do Not Deny Me, Throw Like a Girl, Who Do You Love (a National Book Award finalist), Little Face and Other Stories, and The Gasoline Wars. Thompson’s short fiction has been published in many magazines and journals, including the New Yorker, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Thompson has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University, and other colleges and universities. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 2, 2000)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743203012

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Raves and Reviews

Lisa Shea Elle A bracing and wildly intelligent collection that explores the nature of love in all its hidden and manifest dimensions.

Katherine Dieckmann The New York Times Book Review A quietly devastating book...few fiction writers working today have more successfully rendered the sensation of solid ground suddenly melting away, pinpointing that instant when the familiar present is swallowed up by an always encroaching past or voided future.

Jack Sullivan The Boston Globe This is a contemporary version of the modern epiphany, the moment of illumination, bright or dark, that makes a gray world bearable or unbearable. It doesn't matter that it's been done before, many times, by everyone from Flannery O'Connor to Andre Dubus -- at least not when it's done this beautifully. The consistency and durability of the modern short story is one of the few firm traditions in this century, even if its mission is to depict fracture and loss. In a culture of millennium hype, it's healthy to remind ourselves that the New Age may turn out to be the Old Rut -- and that artists like Jean Thompson can still turn it into poetry.

Carol Anshaw Newsday The best pieces in this collection are as good as it gets in contemporary fiction. Jean Thompson has long been a writer much admired by other writers; perhaps Who Do You Love will bring her the wider recognition she deserves.

Joan Mellen The Baltimore Sun Thompson is a wonderful writer. We fall for every one of her characters....[An] outstanding collection.

Fran Zell Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Jean Thompson examines the tough, often grotesque complexities of love at the end of the millennium and runs head-on into a barnyard of other all-too-familiar animals: loneliness, despair, grief, alienation, violent death. Yet each of the fifteen stories in this volume sparkles like a world unto itself with fresh, vivid language, grippingly real dialogue, suspenseful situations and characters who never let go their belief in love, no matter how thoroughly it eludes them....Yet these are all stories -- themes -- of our time and in Thompson's hands they offer beauty and grace and a sliver of hope.

Jim Tushinski San Francisco Bay Guardian Literary Supplement Luminous and heartbreaking...[Thompson is] among the best short-fiction writers working today....With a clearheaded compassion that allows the stories to grow up around them in unpredictable, satisfying ways.

Abby Frucht Chicago Tribune What makes these stories engaging...? Talent. Compassion. Imagination. Humor. Finesse. Thompson's greatest gift is for layering artistry on top of grit....A writer with a refined grasp of the vocabulary of the dispossessed.

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport) Her tales are as real as life, illuminating the raw core of human needs and human wants.

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 1999 With spare eloquence, Thompson surveys the lives of emotionally dislocated people craving connection, but infuses even the saddest situation with humor and a wry glimmer of hope. The fifteen stories in this collection ring with an unpretentious integrity and a knowledge of human complexities.

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