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Like You'd Understand, Anyway


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About the Author

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and two previous collections of stories. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


In his latest offering, veteran fiction writer Shepard (Project X) poses some interesting questions about the very nature of short fiction. The 11 tightly written pieces often take place in a historical setting. But whether they feature Chernobyl on the eve of the meltdown or a track into the inhospitable Australian interior, these stories generate tension that revolves around the movements of their characters. A time-honored tradition of fiction writing is that the lead paragraph must be among the strongest, and several pieces here feature openings that could stand as short stories in their own right. But rather than building tension to a combustible crescendo or opting for the open-ended terminus of the postmodern novel, Shepard gently diffuses the energy he's taken such pains to accumulate. In this sense, his fiction admits a modern truth: that the buildup contributes more to a story than its eventual "resolution." Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Chris Pusateri, Jefferson Cty. P.L., Lakewood, CO Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Forged from the world with a sharp eye and a careful ear, serving no agenda but literature's primary and oft-forgotten one: the delight of the reader." --The New York Times Book Review"Gutsy, brilliantly imagined, strongly made, fresh and propulsive." --Chicago Tribune"With a near spooky sense of empathy and a wit that finds its mark like lightning, the stories in Jim Shepard's Like You'd Understand, Anyway transport readers light-years beyond what they think they know of the world." --Vanity Fair"Exquisite, multifaceted tales." --The New Yorker "A macro book with a micro eye. These wildly diverse stories share a fascination with the inevitable cost of familial obligation and the inescapable fallout from disaster, both natural and human-made." --Los Angeles Times Book Review"Cannily crafted. . . . The stories couldn't be funnier-or deadlier-in this mad-smart, wildly inventive set." --Elle "Jim Shepard is really a terrific writer. And it's not just the precision of the sentences. . . . It is the way he captures people throughout time with such an exact piercing, as though he's mapped out every corresponding nerve that can make us go weak at the knees." --Providence Journal"An astounding set of stories . . . so dangerously brilliant, they're radioactive." --O Magazine

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