A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories about Human Love

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Doubleday Canada, Limited, Aug 1, 2008 - Short stories, American - 288 pages
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A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both is a collection of stories about love, the most elusive and problematic of all phenomena. With a mix of traditional, literary prose and bold–some might even say irresponsible–experimentation, Ben Greenman explores the ins and outs of modern romance. Expect tears, nudity, and recrimination. From the half-hearted summer affair between a part-time bartender and a married doctor in a Miami hotel to the cryptic pseudo-erotic love letters to a friend who is “more than a friend,” we experience the love of pop songs, the love of cohabitation in Chicago, and love that is so transporting it takes us to the moon–literally.

“Like Green Day did for punk rock, and The Matrix for kung-fu flicks, this new collection from New Yorker editor Greenman could well become an advocate for the short story with those who haven’t been interested in the form. Amusing, palatable . . . it’s precisely the sort of thing that can gain a new audience for a genre.” Time Out Chicago

“A smart, tightly structured collection . . . playful, wryly comical.” The Brooklyn Rail

“Seriously funny.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Wildly inventive, sometimes surreal, but tenderly told, these stories give a glimpse of what Phillip K. Dick might have written if he’d allowed himself a sincere broken heart.” Paste Magazine

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A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories about Human Love

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While Greenman's 2001 collection,Superbad , contained some entertaining and challenging stories, it was occasionally too clever for its own good. All of the stories in in this new collection, however ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeney’s, Opium Magazine, the Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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