Friday, June 20, 2008

My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides (a review)

My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro
4.5 out of 5: My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead is a compilation of short stories selected by Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Middlesex. Above all, Eugenides’ collection is thoughtful; these stories span the globe and the centuries, creating a diverse and provocative reading experience. Unlike many story compilations, there are no ‘dogs’ mixed up in this one. Each story is a gem in its own right. But readers should approach My Mistress’s Sparrow with caution. Although the ostensible theme of this compilation is love, there’s very little here that conforms to our idea of sweet, romantic love. Rather, these stories capture the underbelly of love: the agony of unrequited passion, the uncertainty of moral ambiguity, and the detritus of failed relationships. This collection was released right around Valentine’s Day. I feel sorry for the poor suckers who gifted this to their sweethearts, hoping to make a good (and romantic) impression.

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