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I read two sterling collections this year, neither of which I’m liable to forget even in my half-zheimer’s state.

9780982338292If anyone can prove to me there’s a better short story writer than Edith Pearlman, I’ll eat my keyboard. Why I haven’t stumbled on to her long ago is as big a puzzle to me as why I’ve missed all the other people and things that have zipped by behind my back over the years. Don’t trust my assessment? How about Ann Patchett who says in her introduction to Binocular Vision, “Put her stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That’s where they belong.” Amen, I say, Amen.


9780060586164It’s a treasure trove, this book of Elmore’s short stories called When The Women Come Out To Dance. In addition to the fact that there’s not a dud in the bunch, and a whole number of gems, you’ll find the seeds of a number of Leonard’s other works. Probably more than I recognized, since I know not all. However, “Fire in the Hole” is the genesis of the excellent TV series, Justified. “Hurrah for Captain Early” has intriguing connections to Cuba Libre.
Even without all that, you won’t want to miss the absolutely original “Tonto Woman” or the comic and juicy “Tenkiller” It’s yet another testament to the power of this sterling literary presence.

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