Jane Ciabattari

Jane Ciabattari is the author of the short-story collections Stealing The Fire and California Tales. Her reviews, interviews, and cultural reporting have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Daily Beast, the Paris Review, the Boston Globe, The Guardian, Bookforum, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and BBC.com among others. She is a current vice president/online and former president of the National Book Critics Circle.

Book Reviews
7:30 am
Thu November 13, 2014

A New Collection, Well-Furnished With Munro's Best

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:20 am

The citation for Alice Munro's 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature calls her "the master of the contemporary short story" and praises her ability to "say more in thirty words than an ordinary novel is capable of in three hundred."

Munro distills into one story the sweep of a lifetime, with all its sorrows, disappointments and glories. Her work spans the 20th century, but her focus is on ordinary people (mostly in Canada) whose responses to love, lust, seeking community and facing tragedy range from magisterial to frail to vindictive.

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Book Reviews
3:31 am
Sun September 21, 2014

The Stories In 'Bright Shards' Glimmer With Empathetic Power

iStockphoto.com

Bright Shards of Someplace Else is Monica McFawn's first collection of short stories, and it's already won this year's Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Perhaps it was her idiosyncratic voice, or her flair for distinctive characters that the judges recognized. Or maybe it was her empathetic power. Either way, McFawn has talent. In these 11 stories she manages to range from fantastic to satiric to poignant.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 7, 2014

'The Kills' Sustains Suspense Across A Massive Structure

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 10:42 am

Richard House's thriller The Kills, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year, weighs in at 1,024 pages. It's a long read, and worth every minute.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:11 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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