If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
Pan Macmillan, Jun 4, 2010 - 272 pages
Robin Black creates worlds within worlds. Her stories turn on a glance or a phrase - or, more often, on that which is not expressed. If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This explores life's rich silences: in relationships both acknowledged and covert, and in the unspoken, often treacherous dynamics of families in which so much goes unsaid. A mother, retired to the countryside with her elderly husband, plays sensitive host to her daughter and her secret lover even while she mourns the embers of her own relationship. A blind teenager sees the fractures in her parents' marriage more clearly than they can themselves. These stories are luminous, wise and unerringly humane, and their emotional generosity is all the more moving for Black's restrained and accomplished style. This is an extraordinarily poised debut collection from one of America's brightest new voices.