Twilight of the Superheroes

Deborah Eisenberg, Author
Deborah Eisenberg, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $23 (225p) ISBN 978-0-374-29941-5
Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-374-70775-0
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-312-42593-7
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-330-44460-6
Hardcover - 225 pages - 978-0-330-44459-0
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Short-story master Eisenberg delivers, with signature intelligence and humor, six elegant, soulful new tales in her fifth book of stories. In a nuanced and compassionate family portrait, "Some Other, Better Otto," complex expressions of love and despair circle around a high-strung brother and his prodigiously talented, mentally ill sister. Several other stories also portray families pulling simultaneously apart while cleaving together, but each character and each motive is unique in Eisenberg's hands. The extraordinary, near–novella-length "Window" follows a young, naïve woman into a marginal, backwoods life with a secretive and dictatorial man who has business in arms dealing and a toddler son he's left in her care. The title piece is set in Manhattan around the events of 9/11 and focuses on the post-collegiate ennui of a group of 20-something friends facing an uncertain future. The author is at the top of her form delving into the varied but devastating truth that, even after an apocalypse, people still have to lie in the beds they've made, unable to sleep. A terrific addition to the oeuvre of one of America's finest and most deeply empathetic short story writers. (Feb.)

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