Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'd heard a lot of hype about Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger - most of it about how good her short stories were and how she got a book deal based on one published story, so when I saw it downstairs I grabbed it. The stories in the book (there are only five of them) share some similarities: the central character is a young, white, American woman and there is a connection to India or the surrounding area. That's not to say that they are alike though. They are each distinct and the characters well-defined. She varies the narration too; one story is told by a mother, another by a daughter, one switches forth between an Indian tutor and his student. "Outside the Eastern Gate" reminded me of Hideous Kinky (which I loved) with its interaction between the children and their mother. The stories were full of moments of beauty, yet were told very plainly, each page containing new nuances to the storyline and characters. While not quite as affecting as Adam Haslett's collection or as dazzlingly clever and funny as DFW's, these were still very good and will go a long way toward making me more of a fan of short stories.

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