Separate Kingdoms
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Separate Kingdoms

3.89 (77 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"A work of daunting versatility and technical skill, the product of a writer absolutely at home in the language and working vigorously within both new and old forms." --Michael Byers, author of Long for this World and The Coast of Good Intentions

From Pushcart Prize-winner Valerie Laken, author of Dream House, comes a riveting short story collection charting the divisions and collisions between cultures and nations, families and lovers, selves and others in the United States and Russia. In the tradition of Lydia Peelle, Barbara Johnson, and David Mitchell, Laken creates incisive and illuminating portraits of characters coping with loss, estrangement, and disability, confined by their circumstances to separate kingdoms of the heart.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 127 x 200.66 x 17.78mm | 68.04g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0060840943
  • 9780060840945

Back cover copy

From Valerie Laken, the Pushcart Prize-winning author of Dream House, comes a powerful collection of short stories charting the divisions and collisions between cultures and nations, families and outsiders, and partners and misfits searching for love. Set in Russia and the United States, these are boldly innovative stories--tales of fractured, misplaced characters moving beyond the borders of their isolation and reaching for the connections that will make them whole.

A family, shaken by an industrial accident, is divided, its members isolated in their home and only able to understand one another from their separate rooms. A young gay couple travels to Russia to meet the child they're desperately trying to adopt, but the experience reveals an emotional divide between the parents-to-be. A recent amputee removes herself from her body to keep her husband at bay. And the idyllic village life of a blind Russian boy is disrupted by an American dentist and the wonders of racy Western magazines. Separate Kingdoms is a rich and satisfying collection that traverses the distances between people and places in each marvelously rendered story.
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Review quote

[Laken] can turn out finely wrought observations on people s miseries and bad choices like she grew up at Chekhov s knee. But she brings some extra juice, both playful and serious, to these eight tales. . . . A national talent. --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
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Rating details

77 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 23% (18)
4 45% (35)
3 29% (22)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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