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Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle
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Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  504 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle is a collection of 11 short stories.

"Dramatically rich... funny, offbeat, and masterly... Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle bristles with new energy." —New York Times Book Review

"Ms. Gilchrist evokes the mingled vulnerability and wayward vitality of children... touching and completely convincing." —Chicago Tribune

"Employing her usual b
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Paperback, 204 pages
Published 1989 by Little, Brown and Company
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Community Reviews

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Lynne
I love anything and everything that Ellen Gilchrist has ever written. Fell completely in love with her work when she came to one of my writing seminars in college and when I heard her read her work. She has a smooth, funny, confident, dreamy Southern voice that stays with you.
Raima Larter
This was the first book by Ellen Gilchrist that I ever read, but it was not the last - in fact, after checking this book of short stories out from my local library, I fell in love with this author and read all her other books.

Being a scientist, it was the title that caught my attention. I no longer remember why the book has this title or even very much about any of the individual stories. It was 20+ years ago I read the book, but here is one thing I do remember: characters in one story would po
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Shaindel
Jul 09, 2008 Shaindel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women; I'm not sure if men would read Ellen Gilchrist; I don't know why?
I just love how simply Ellen Gilchrist can tell a story. She has that simplicity that Hemingway has, which is really deceptive. You can be reading her work and think, "This is fourth grade reading level," but somehow, there is *so much* going on emotionally and in the subtext.

One thing that I have noticed is that various women identify with different characters of hers VERY strongly. I have friends who want to be Rhoda Manning. I love the Nora Jane stories because I wish I were Nora Jane. I thin
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Julia
When I first read Ellen Gilchrist's short stories, in high school, I decided that maybe novels weren't the only fiction worth reading after all. Her short stories are slices of stories, complete unto themselves, but feeling as if they were fully alive before and after you met them too. Her characters are so real you think she must be writing about herself until you meet the next one, and then the next.

Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle is one of my favorite books of hers - modern despite its t
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Glen
Fully one third of this collection is taken up by the story "Mexico", which features the antics of Rhoda Manning and her brother and cousin, and most of the rest of the stories focus on and feature familiar characters from her other volumes, though any of them can be read as stand-alones. The oddest story is the eponymous one which focuses on a Chinese medical lab worker who just happens to be connected to the story of Nora Jane Whittington. This is an entertaining and eminently readable collect ...more
bookczuk
I normally am not a big fan of the art of short stories, but this little book of Ellen Gilchrist's makes me eat my words. Perhaps it was the interrelated aspect of many of the stories that settled my brain. Normally, it's the abrupt hop from one scenario to another that jars me. This formed a fragmented storyline of a short, introducing me to full fleshed characters and delicious prose. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, as the flow has gone to almost seamless in my mind, despite a foray of ...more
Tmorgan
This was the first of many books I read by Gilchrist, a supremely talented writer. Love her work.
Kerry
This book of short stories continues the adventures of Nora Jane (pregnant with twins by two different men!), Traceleen, Rhoda, and others.

My favorite lines, from the title story:

If I enter into this moment, I will be changed forever. If I refuse this moment then I will go about the world as an old man goes, with no hope, no songs to sing, no longing or desire, no miracles of sunlight. So I will allow this to happen to me. As if a man can refuse his destiny. As if the choice were mine. Let it co
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Greta
Reading Gilchrist requires patience because only a small part of each character's story is shared in each of her books. This collection of short stories included "Mexico" which seemed like a spoof of the "Sun Also Rises" by Hemingway who she does mention in her 1st book as one of the saddest stories she had ever read. These stories have sad moments and lots of fun moments, poignant as always.
Moira Eberle
I loved this book so much when it first came out that I'm a bit afraid to read it again as I may not feel the same magic way. Love that the characters are (often deeply) flawed, but so human and compelling and authentic. It seems as if the only true fault, among all the vices, is the lack of being true to yourself.
Rhiannon
Every time I read an Ellen Gilchrist story, whether I've read it 50 times before or for the first time, I feel a familiarity that is also somehow still fresh. Like an anecdote your great aunt shares at dinner parties a few times a year. She is an incredible story teller who isn't as celebrated as she deserves.
W.B.
I know this is a pretty straightforward type of storytelling, but the woman can write beautifully. She's from Arkansas. I like Southern writers! I say again! I love the short story that has her characters on the Golden Gate Bridge during the earthquake...that's a beautiful story...
Trina
love love love gilchrist and her setting the stories in mainly either the lousiana coast (even beloved mandeville!) and san francisco makes me very happy.
Katherine
Southern people get drunk and act crazy. Original? Not really. Incredibly entertaining? You betcha!
Jordan Munn
Picked up off the sidewalk. Good, entertaining read with a handful of incisive passages to boot.
Patti
Jul 01, 2008 Patti rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Patti by: Randy Williams
I need to read this book again. In fact, I need to read all of her books again.
Lisa
Feb 21, 2012 Lisa added it
Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle by Ellen Gilchrist (1990)
Ronda Mcdonald
best collection of short stories! Ellen Gilchrist is my hero!
Anna
gilchrist is my favorite. hands down.
Robby Colvin
Robby Colvin marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2015
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Mar 09, 2015
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Feb 28, 2015
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Ellen Gilchrist (born February 20, 1935) is an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. She won a National Book Award for her 1984 collection of short stories, Victory Over Japan.

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Ellen Gilchrist...
Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories In the Land of Dreamy Dreams The Anna Papers Drunk with Love Rhoda: A Life in Stories

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“We were running all over the front lawn and under the rainspouts, barefooted, in our underpants, with the rain pelting down, straight cold gray rain of Delta summers, wonderful rain. -Mexico” 3 likes
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