An exciting new anthology by the editors of the popular In Short, about which Publishers Weekly said: "Even readers skeptical of short-attention-span publishing will find these shorts addictive."
Noting the proliferation of creative nonfiction pieces less than 2000 words long--ranging from "fragment to finished essay, anecdote to memoir, story, meditation, hypothesis"--editors Kitchen and Jones follow up their 1996 In Short with another collection of pithy and tantalizing pieces. Studded with contributions from such accomplished writers as Kathleen Norris, John McPhee, Jamaica Kincaid and Rick Bass, these 73 mostly original offerings include some excerpts from longer works. Often employing the techniques of fiction, the pieces are linked by themes of family or romantic love, place or philosophy, recurring motifs, even theories of writing. In "Low Tide at Four," Harriet Doerr muses about a day in August, 1939, when she "exerted the full force of [her] will, commanding the sun to hold back the wave long enough for [her] to paint and frame low tide." William Maxwell sees his "ninetieth birthday approaching out of the corner of one eye," as much a natural phenomenon as the sea, which brings both joy and anguish as he realizes he has "lost touch with the place that stories and novels come from." In "Waking Dreams," Edwidge Danticat compares her fictional characters with their sometimes real life inspirations, recognizing that "writers always betray someone at some point." Offering autobiographical revelations, flashes of insight and lots of good writing, this is a solid meal for readers on the fly. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.