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She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories
by Ron Hansen
Ron Hansen has long been celebrated as a master of both the novel and the short form. His stories have been called “beautifully crafted” (The New York Times), “unforgettable” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “diverse and expansive” (The Washington Post). His 1989 collection, Nebraska, was widely praised, and he has published stories in literary magazines nationwide—The Atlan ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Scribner
(first published September 4th 2012)
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Hard to rate this one. He's obviously a good writer and his mastery of language is impressive. The stories are interesting and engaging, but they are quite quirky, too much so for my personal taste. He seems to be doing sort of a collage technique in some that is intriguing but, for me, not as satisfying as a solid traditional narrative structure.
Jun 02, 2013 Marty rated it 4 of 5 stars
I like Ron Hansen's writing as a general rule. He has never been a genre-bound writer, as this collection vividly illustrates. The story topics range from historical fiction to contemporary crime. Most are set in Nebraska, such as 'Wickedness' which recalls the horrors the Children's Blizzard of 1888 that swept unexpectedly through the Plains states. "She Loves Me Not" is the 'personal' confession of a small time loser so infatuated with an exotic dancer that he agrees to help murder her thuggis ...more
Ron Hansen is an author whose work I follow because he is local in my Bay Area of California. This is a short story collection with several of the short stories rooted in Nebraska and the Midwest. Ron Hansen's prose is vivid, spare, and engaging. My favorite in the collection is the first one: "Wilde in Omaha" wherein Hansen imagines Oscar Wilde on tour from the point of view of a culturally aspiring young man who yearns to get close to the international celebrity. The tone of this story is iron ...more
During the late 1990s, I wanted to buy Ron Hansen’s 1989 short story collection "Nebraska." Hansen and I grew up in the Midwest, albeit several hundred miles apart, but I was curious as to what he had to say about his native state of Nebraska. This was before the Internet and amazon.com, and I couldn’t find the book at new or used bookstores after several months of searching. I recently came across his 2012 collection, "She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories," and was pleased to discover th ...more
3.5 Have not read many stories set in Nebraska but there are several in this book, including one of my favorites about the Great Blizzard of 1888, which has interested me so much that I have checked out a non fiction book from my library called "The Children's Blizzard." Hansen does a great job with these stories, it is easy for the reader to immerse himself totally in the Midwest, his descriptions are so vivid, his writing smooth and relateable. Two other favorites of mine were "Wilde in Omaha" ...more
The story "My Communist" is thoroughly charming, and for that alone I'm glad I read the book. In one story Hansen skillfully describes an 1880s Nebraska blizzard from its contemporaries' point of view, in another the shop talk of auto mechanics of the 1980s. Many of the stories are disturbing or just plain strange, though, and I often wondered what exactly they were supposed to do. I may look for one of his novels next.
Terrible. It's as if he wanted to see how many adjectives he could fit into each sentence. Totally unnecessary. Half the stories are constructed of small, random paragraphs with nothing to tie them together. Other stories are so jumbled they are nearly impossible to follow. Waste of time. One of the worst collections I have ever read.
I considered abandoning this part way through. The stories are just a little too quirky, the narrative arc just not quite straightforward enough for me. He is clearly a good writer and captures feelings, moods, places well, but it felt a little like a chore every time I picked this up.
I WON THIS BOOK ON GOODREADS. I MUST SAY THAT THIS BOOK OF STORIES IS UTTERLY AMAZING. I LOVE SHORT STORIES AND THIS BOOK BRINGS THEM TO A TOTALLY NEW LEVEL OF EXCILLENCE. I WAS AMAZED AND FILLED BY MANY DIFFRENT EMOTIONS AS I READ EACH AND EVERY WOUNDERFULL PAGE.
Hansen was born in Omaha, Nebraska, attended a Jesuit high school, Creighton Preparatory School and earned a Bachelor's degree in English from Creighton University in Omaha in 1970. Following military service, he earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974 and held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University. He later earned an M.A. in Spirituality from Santa ...moreMore about Ron Hansen...