Tell Me: 30 Stories

Front Cover
Counterpoint, 2002 - Fiction - 277 pages
12 Reviews
Chosen from Robison's three long-unavailable collections, along with four new stories, Tell Me reflects the early brilliance as well as the fulfilled promise of Mary Robison's literary career. In these stories (most of which have appeared in The New Yorker), we enter her sly world of plotters, absconders, ponderers, and pontificators. Robison's characters have chips on their shoulders; they talk back to us in language that is edgy and nervy; they say "all right" and "okay" often, not because they consent, but because nothing counts. Still, there are small victories here, small only because, as Robison precisely documents, larger victories are impossible. Here then, among others, is "Pretty Ice," chosen by Richard Ford for The Granta Book of American Short Stories, "Coach," chosen for Best American Short Stories, "I Get By," an O. Henry Prize Stories selection, and "Happy Boy, Allen," a Pushcart Prize Stories selection. These stories-sharp, cool, and astringently funny-confirm Mary Robison's place as one of our most original writers and led Richard Yates to comment, "Robison writes like an avenging angel, and I think she may be a genius."

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KarlBunker - LibraryThing

For the most part, these are "slice of life" stories. That is, they aren't stories with obvious plot or conflict or character arc. No three act structure or five elements of plot or four calling birds ... Read full review

Review: Tell Me 30 Stories

User Review  - Paul Cockeram - Goodreads

Stories like this begin somewhere past the middle, near the ending. They don't give you the backgrounds of the characters, outside of a few sentences about the way the characters are related or maybe ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

A widely published poet, critic, editor, and cultural historian, Geoffrey O'Brien has been honored with a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and is the editor-in-chief of The Library of America. He lives in New York City.

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