Our Story Begins

Our Story Begins : New and Selected Stories

4.13 (1,849 ratings by Goodreads)
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"One of our most exquisite storytellers" "(Esquire)" gives us his first collection in over a decade: ten potent new stories that, along with twenty-one classics, display his mastery over a quarter century. Tobias Wolff's first two books, "In the Garden of the North American Martyrs" and "Back in the World, " were a powerful demonstration of how the short story can "provoke our amazed appreciation," as "The""New York Times Book Review" wrote then. In the years since, he's written a third collection, "The Night in Question, " as well as a pair of genre-defining memoirs "(This Boy's Life" and "In Pharaoh's Army), " the novella "The Barracks Thief, " and, most recently, a novel, "Old School." Now he returns with fresh revelations--about biding one's time, or experiencing first love, or burying one's mother--that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired Marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who's picked his pocket. In these stories, as with his earlier, much-anthologized work, he once again proves himself, according to the "Los Angeles Times, " "a writer of the highest order: part storyteller, part philosopher, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 379 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 44mm | 680.39g
  • Knopf Publishing Group
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 1400044596
  • 9781400044597
  • 786,522

Review quote

"A towering monument of a book...[Wolff] has courteously picked 21 of his presumable favorites-going back to the very beginning-and then appended to this welcome gift a collection of ten new stories that alone would be cause for celebration...There's no one else practicing the form with as much warm devotion or cool mastery." -Jeff Turrentine, "The Washington Post" "Wolff is a superb storyteller who makes almost anything he touches ring true." --"Newsweek " "For thirty years Wolff has been publishing stories that feel yanked from the jagged mouth of real experience and turned into art...The entire moral crux of life pivots on an instant...These stories remind a reader how powerful and important good stories are, especially ones that look unblinkingly into our wicked, yearning hearts." --John Freeman, "Sunday Star-Ledger" "It's impossible to read Tobias Wolff and not come away transformed...[He] fully exposes the good, bad, and ugly about what it means to be alive in this day and age." --Andrew Ervin, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" "Adept short stories-whole worlds evoked in just a few pages-[with] the heft and density, the unexpected beauty, of Alice Munro, of Chekhov." --Lisa Jennifer Selzman, "Houston Chronicle " "Wolff reminds us again and again why we still return to fiction for what we need to know about how people live their lives." --Daniel Torday, "Esquire" "Restrained, droll, and nearly flawless in structure, Tobias Wolff's keen-edged stories often concern confused folks who want to do the right thing, or at least find a way to allow themselves to believe that they're doing the fith thing...Ten of [these] stories are new, and they're more accomplished than ever." --Karen Karbo, "Entertainment Weekly," (Grade A) "If any short story writer working today has earned the right to release his greatest hits, it's Tobias Wolff...The complexity of emotion [he] evokes within the space of a few pages, from hilarity to heashow more

About Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff is the author of seven previous books and the editor of "The Vintage Book of American Short Stories." Among his honors are the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award, both for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. He lives in Northern California and teaches at Stanford University.show more

Table of contents

A Note from the Author SELECTED STORIES In the Garden of the North American Martyrs Next Door Hunters in the Snow The Liar Soldier’s Joy The Rich Brother Leviathan Desert Breakdown, 1968 Say Yes Mortals Flyboys Sanity The Other Miller Two Boys and a Girl The Chain Smorgasbord Lady’s Dream Powder The Night in Question Firelight Bullet in the Brain NEW STORIES That Room Awaiting Orders A White Bible Her Dog A Mature Student The Deposition Down to Bone Nightingale The Benefit of the Doubt Deep Kissshow more

Rating details

1,849 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 39% (718)
4 41% (753)
3 16% (295)
2 4% (67)
1 1% (16)
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