Mendocino Fire

Elizabeth Tallent. Harper, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-241034-4
In her fourth collection, Tallent (In Constant Flight) explores the spaces between people through 10 expertly crafted stories. Mostly set in California with forays into Iowa, the book features characters with strong ties to place, whether they’re navigating the wilds of academia or of nature. This is perhaps most evident in the title story, whose protagonist seeks to protect California’s wildlife by living in a 500-year-old tree. In “Tabriz,” a man wonders if a rug he dug out of the trash catalyzed the unraveling of his marriage. “Eros 101,” a sharp, affecting look at longing, academia, and office politics, reveals a woman struggling to reconcile intellect and emotion. And “Nobody You Know” subverts expectations of a narrative that seems at first to be about a lover’s revenge. Taken as a whole, these stories examine love in its many forms, with the most successful probing the realm of romantic love, where Tallent addresses emotional conflicts with a refreshingly light touch. Tallent’s collection offers a smart, thought-provoking study of desire and disappointment. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-241036-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-0925-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-0924-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-0927-1
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-06-241035-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-0926-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-0923-3
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