Tell Me Everything and Other Stories

Joyce Hinnefeld, Author
Joyce Hinnefeld, Author University Press of New England $17.95 (149p) ISBN 978-0-87451-875-7
Ebook - 149 pages - 978-1-61168-090-4
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Like a long song with an unchanging sad refrain, the 14 stories in Hinnefeld's first collection are melancholy, varied and yet very much of a piece. Some, like ""Echo Guilt,"" evoke an Edward Hopper-like solitude in which the narrator stands back from her world as if from a painting, trying to figure it all out. In others, such as ""The Slow and Painful Demise of the American Family,"" Hinnefield conveys a sense of how close to the surface old angers and horrors linger, and of how we torture ourselves in essentially transient lives with the hope of permanence. Whether she shows them in a silent summer pool in a glade in Northeastern Indiana or trapped in New York squalor, Hinnefield's female protagonists tend to cling to the same traditional, domestic fantasies and are confused when their choices leave them lonely and embittered. ""I can't stop dreaming of empty buildings,"" reflects the woman in the title story, an intimate portrait that explores the self through landscapes of dreams, suburbs and cities. Intelligent and moving, Hinnefeld's debut should attract discerning readers. (Aug.)
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