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Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories

Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories

Scritto da Lauren Groff

Narrato da Susan Ericksen


Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories

Scritto da Lauren Groff

Narrato da Susan Ericksen

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (25 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 10, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180707
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Lauren Groff presents nine stories of astonishing insight and variety, each revealing a resonant drama within the life of a twentieth-century American woman.



In "Sir Fleeting," a Midwestern farm girl on her honeymoon in Argentina falls into lifelong lust for a French playboy. In "Blythe," an attorney who has become a stay-at-home mother takes a night class in poetry and meets another full-time mother, one whose charismatic brilliance changes everything. In "The Wife of the Dictator," that eponymous wife ("brought back...from [the dictator's] last visit to America") grows more desperately, menacingly isolated every day. In "Delicate Edible Birds," a group of war correspondents-a lone, high-spirited woman among them-falls prey to a brutal farmer while fleeing Nazis in the French countryside. And in "Lucky Chow Fun," Groff returns to Templeton, the setting of her first book, for revelations about the darkness within even that idyllic small town.



In some of these stories, enormous changes happen in an instant. In others, transformations occur across a lifetime-or several lifetimes. Throughout the collection, Groff displays particular and vivid preoccupations. Crime is a motif-sex crimes, a possible murder, crimes of the heart. Love troubles occur in every story-love in alcoholism, in adultery, in a flood, even in the great flu epidemic of 1918. Some of the love has depths that are understood too late; some of the love is shallow and also understood too late. And mastery is a theme-Groff's women swim and twirl batons, become poets, or try and try again to achieve the inner strength to exercise personal freedom.



Overall, these stories announce a notable new literary master. Dazzlingly original and confident, Delicate Edible Birds will further Groff's growing reputation as one of the foremost talents of her generation.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 10, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180707
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and two short story collections, Florida and Delicate Edible Birds. She has won the PEN/O. Henry Award, and been a two-time finalist for the National Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, along with several Best American Short Stories anthologies, and she was named one of Granta's 2017 Best Young American Novelists. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.  

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25 valutazioni / 16 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    groff is a brilliant writer. she captures a sense of place so well that each story reads as a memoir, which is impossible. brilliant!
  • (5/5)
    Wow. I enjoyed Fates and Furies but this is a whole other beast. I love short stories as much as I do a novel. I liken these to the short stories of Patricia Highsmith but taken a step even further into the darkness.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed Groff's last two novels, Arcadia and Fates and Furies, so I decided to try this 2009 contemporary short story collection. Each story features a woman in a crisis situation, the result of which changes her life. In "Lucky Chow Fun," the teenage female captain of an otherwise all-male high school swim team, joins the guys for a night out at a shady Chinese restaurant where events lead her to consider the lives of the young women who live and work there. An American woman, "The Wife of the Dictator," is observed by the women in the compound as her marriage and her husband's situation alter. An attorney who has given up work to be a stay-at-home mom befriends a charismatic but rather crazy woman who she meets in a poetry class. A Midwestern farm girl on her honeymoon falls in lust with an international playboy--a lust that lasts her entire life--in "Sir Fleeting." A group of hotel guests skirt around their varied relationships, all wondering about the strange woman upstairs and the possibility of a crime in their midst in "Fugue." My favorite of the nine stories here is "Watershed," which focuses on a young widow who blames herself for her husband's accidental death. Here, Groff creates a tone of mourning that runs as an undercurrent through the entire piece, even as the narrator tells of their childhood and the years-later chance meeting that led to the return of the wife, a professional storyteller, to her small hometown and their marriage. If you are looking for an uplifting read, this probably isn't it. Most of the stories do not end end happily, and most involve a crime, or at least a serious mistake. But Groff is a wonderful writer, and she has a talent for conveying atmosphere in subtle ways.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyed the unexpected or unconventional twists of plot in these stories.
  • (4/5)
    Let's start with the title.

    Kinda creepy, huh? Or maybe it's the vegetarian in me that finds it so.

    Well, if you're interested sampling a great short story collection, move past the appetizer of a title and settle in for a treat. A delicacy, shall we say.

    Delicate Edible Birds is author Lauren Groff's second book, her first being the best-seller The Monsters of Templeton. It's a collection of nine stories, most of which have been published in various literary journals.

    Of the nine, I enjoyed the first seven - with "Majorette," "Blythe," "Watershed," and "Sir Fleeting" being among the best short stories I've ever read. (As much as I really wanted to, I couldn't get into "Fugue" or "Delicate Edible Birds." I found myself slightly confused and re-reading sentences, putting the book down and starting again ... all to no avail.)

    These stories are a little dark, particularly so with a few paragraphs in "L. Debard and Aliette." Same with "Lucky Chow Fun," which re-visits Templeton, NY, the setting for Groff's novel, The Monsters of Templeton. Of particular interest to me were the stories set in central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia (especially "Blythe").

    In each of the seven stories I read, Groff includes the bird metaphor in some way, but it's done so effectively that it doesn't seem like overkill or heavy-handedness on the author's part. She is also adept at showing the reader what era the story is happening in without specifying the year - "But the newscasters trickled away when a professional football player killed his wife and charged the country with a new angst." - and especially, in developing her characters. (Blythe, from "Blythe" is especially memorable, as is Ancel de Chair - awesome name, no? - from "Sir Fleeting".)

    When an author is new to me, I often enjoy discovering them through their short stories (if they have written such). I think it gives a special sense of their writing in an appetizer kind of way while whetting the appetite for a larger, sit-down meal.
  • (3/5)
    I loved Monsters of Templeton so I thought this was going to be a slam dunk. Not so much. I find her to be a stronger novelist than a short story writer. Some caught me, others not so much. Overall I liked it, although I was disappointed.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed reading each of the fascinating short stories in this collection. Lauren Groff's writing style is somewhat reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro in that bizarre images and situations are presented as if they were somehow normal. It seems the author wrote this book under the influence of her stint at the University of Wisconsin since many of her heroines seem to have Midwest connections. Being a Midwesterner myself, and having attended the U. of Wisconsin, I appreciated the sense of place that comes through. I discovered this book by the old-fashioned browsing method, and I'm glad I did. I will definitely want to read more of her writing.
  • (5/5)
    There is something rather haunting about the way Ms. Groff writes. Each story speaks of need and wanting, longing and wishing, love and grief.Though the writing format takes a few pages to get used to, you are quickly swept up in each chapters story. One takes place in the town of Templeton featured in her novel. Others take place throughout the world, and throughout time.The best story for me would have to be the final one, for which the collection was named. This final story recounts an unusual women fleeing Paris with her companions as the German's storm the city. She is faced with an impossible choice during their flight. Refusal means death for the whole group. Acceptance means the utter annihilation of her physical, emotional, and mental integrity. She staunchly refuses the offer, however the turning of her companions against her takes away her choice. She is left completely broken while the others attempt to justify their decision. There is no justification for what they do to her however, no matter how they spin it. This story was most interesting to me because it revealed the baseness of human beings. We are fine with making tough decisions so long as they do not detrimentally affect us. When push comes to shove, we expect others to sacrifice for our well-being, no matter the consequences.The other stories are wonderfully written as well. Some will make you feel once again the ache in your heart for love that never was. Others make you feel angry, or pity, in quick easy turns. It is not always so easy to pick out the villain and the hero in some of these stories, which is a welcome reflection of reality. Ms. Groff has an incredible talent for evoking emotion in her readers, and I would urge you to give this collection a try. It took me awhile to get through the book because she is so deft at creating emotion. However, this is the brilliance of her writing. Don't despair, the endings are worth it.
  • (4/5)
    short stories, contemporary fiction, audio book
  • (4/5)
    I loved Monsters of Templeton, so I looked up this title. I enjoyed it very much, especially the stories "Fugue," "Watershed," and "L. DeBard and Aliette." This author has a wonderful way with words and imagines interesting characters. I will keep my eye out for more of Groff's work.
  • (4/5)
    Groff feels more successful as a short story writer than as a novelist -- as with "The Monsters of Templeton" (and many short story collections in general), some of the writing is much more successful, and "Delicate Edible Birds" features a a couple of utterly transcendent pieces ("Watershed" and "L. DeBard and Aliette" in particular). Skim or skip the ones that don't pull you in, and instead spend time savoring the perfect packages of the stories that do.
  • (4/5)
    Lauren Groff's "Delicate Edible Birds" is a collection of nine short stories that deal with the intimate details of women's lives in the face of adversity. Unlike many story collections, each of Groff's stories is unique--they are all told by women of different ages, perspectives, and stations in life--so you don't feel like you are reading the same short story retold multiple times in a single volume. Groff gives each of her women a strong narrative voice, rich with the emotions attached to their situations. My favorite stories in this volume included Lucky Chow Fun, in which a small town ripped apart by a sex scandal is chronicled by a high school girl; Majorette, which traces the life of an under-appreciated young woman as she uses baton twirling to aid her growth into a capable woman who raises a confident daughter; and Watershed, the story of a reckless love affair that ends in tragedy. All of the stories in this volume are as different and rich as these three, and they each leave you wishing for just a little bit longer glimpse into these women's lives. I would recommend this volume of short stories to anyone who enjoys reading stories about strong women in the face of adversity. These stories are rich and memorable. I can't wait to see what is next from the obviously talented Groff.
  • (5/5)
    The first story in the book is set in Templeton. I loved this because it was like going home, back to a familiar, comfortable setting. From here, the stories all feature women, but they are all vastly different. This difference in all the stories was one of my favorite aspects of this collection. Often times with short stories it seems like you are reading variations on the same story over and over. I never felt that way with this collection.There were a couple of times that the voice the story was told in seemed a little strange, a little off. By the end of the story, though, I always understood exactly why Groff told the story the way she did, and it always made perfect sense.Groff's writing is beautiful and captivating without being overdone. I would often set the book aside after completing a story just to keep the characters with me a little while longer. LaurenGroff has definitely made her way on to my "must read"
  • (4/5)
    Sharp, dark and heartbreaking. I like the last story the best.
  • (5/5)
    Lauren Groff is the only non-genre author I follow, waiting eagerly for each new book, and yet somehow I missed that she had a short story collection out. She has a wonderful hand with characterization, which is what these stories really are: women's lives distilled into about twenty pages or so. My favorites were "Lucky Chow Fun" and "Blythe," but they were all good.
  • (5/5)
    Each of the nine stories in this collection showcases a strong female character. In a couple of the stories, we don’t know the protagonist’s name, but we know everything else about her. They are athletes, journalists, mothers, daughters and wives but most of all – they are survivors. Settings are as varied as the female characters – France, Buenos Aires, New York – just to name a few. The first story, Lucky Chow Fun, shares a setting with Monsters of Templeton, Groff’s first novel. These exquisite stories deserve to be read and savored individually before moving on to the next one.