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Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this stunning collection of stories, bestselling author Ursula Hegi focuses on the problems of love -- familial, parental, conjugal, and emergent. With compassion and her "unfailing immediacy of language," she raises the struggles of her characters to a plane of recognition that enables them to transcend despair. Life and death, age and youth, attained hopes and unearne ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 25th 1997 by Touchstone (first published 1988)
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Jul 28, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: autographed
A collection of fourteen short stories that range in scope, point of view, and situation. As with most of Hegi's work, not for the faint of heart; she does some experimental things, to varying degrees of success, that might cause confusion for the casual reader.

The stories have to do mainly with strained or awkward relationships, particularly with children and their parents, and these are not necessarily resolved by the end of the respective stories. (Not that we always want them to be.) Additi
Christina Ramos
Jun 16, 2011 Christina Ramos rated it liked it
This book was ok. It is an incredibly short book of (very) short stories. A few of these were good, and a few of them almost seemed like the beginning of a novel that ended abruptly, before you could get attached to the characters or care too much what they were going through. My perspective might be skewed, as I am familiar with Hegi because her novel "Stones From the River" is absolutely one of the best (if not THE best) novels I have ever read. Maybe I shouldn't compare her short stories to h ...more
Oct 03, 2014 Theresa rated it it was ok
Low rating only because I don't like short stories. Last book of short stories I'll ever read but they were definitely very well written.
Aug 17, 2013 Ruhegeist rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I would give 4.5 stars based on a story or two I didn't like as well etc but truly this was a great collection of short, very emotional stories. Some of them really messed me a good, raw kind of way. This was the first I've read of this author. Thought the short stories would be a good intro and way to see if I would read a longer book of hers. Like another poster mentioned, after reading the short stories, I don't know if I could sustain a full length book. Full length or not, I would r ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Paige rated it liked it
Since I'm having a short story and essay spout, I've read a lot of them. Mostly consecutively. These stories, although beautiful at times, were not memorable to me. Some of the stories I had a hard time grasping and holding on to. I felt that way through most of the book. It didn't keep my attention except for a few stories. It's a quick read. I wouldn't read it again, but enjoyed it enough for a single read.
Scott E
May 04, 2009 Scott E rated it it was ok
Nothing in this collection ever really grabbed me. These stories, although not "short-shorts", were too short to establish a hold on me. The only story that had much effect on me was Marya, located towards the end of the collection...which by that time I had nearly given up.
Jun 16, 2010 Craig rated it liked it
A decent, uneven collection of shorts.

I felt that the more experimental pieces just didn't work very well - and I am typically a fan of experimental prose.

Windows was probably my favorite story in the collection - a great sense of eerieness to it.
Debra B.
Apr 11, 2013 Debra B. rated it liked it
Well-written, but most of the stories were so sad. It was sometimes hard to keep reading due to the sadness.
Jul 30, 2007 Michelle rated it really liked it
lovely little stories
Aug 23, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing
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Ursula Hegi is the author of Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.
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