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A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories
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A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,118 ratings  ·  181 reviews
Amy Bloom was nominated for a National Book Award for her first collection, Come to Me, and her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Story, Antaeus, and other magazines, and in The Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. In her new collection, she enhances her reputation as a true artist of the form.

Here are characters confronted with tragedy
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Published July 8th 2009 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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once i was answering phones at small business that did catalog sales, and someone called to make an order and said her name was amy bloom. and i said, not the famous writer amy bloom? and there was this long pause, and then she sort of chortled and said, well, yes, i guess it is.

she stayed on the line and talked to me for five or ten minutes about writing. she was so lovely. if i hadn't already read all her stories, i'd have gone out and bought them on the strength of what she had to say about h
This is the kind of collection that makes people hate short stories. Bogged down with all kind of typical, unspecific tragedy--a dead baby story, of course, because you couldn't possibly be a successful female American story writer without one of those in your bag, breast cancer story, TWO improbable and dishonest I-slept-with-my-stepmother stories (?), and a few more cancer/Parkinson's/someone died stories.

What is frustrating about this isn't that these aren't worthy topics for fiction--they a
3.5 stars

Violent with grief. That's the phrase I kept coming back to while reading Amy Bloom's short stories. In "Rowing to Eden," a woman with breast cancer calls her nurse a "stupid bitch" because of her clumsiness with a needle. In "Hold Tight," Della deals with the death of her mother, and in the process she thinks about how her friends argue with their moms about stupid things like boys and clothes - Della wishes she could "stab them to death." A mother watches her son go through sex reassi
A collection of terribly, terribly sad short stories. Puts death and angst in perspective. Made me want to line up every member of my family and hug each one of them, then watch them hug each other. At knife point, of course.
I feel actors should read this book because I've never read stories with such clear, complete characterizations. And its not simply descriptive - from the very beginning it's as though the characters appear right before you; like really great actors have seeped themselves in their roles and made all the right choices. My only problem is the stories are SO devastating that it's difficult for me to go on to the next story.
Ronald Wise
Each of these short stories seemed to eventually focus on a love relationship, whether or not it was obvious, socially sanctioned, or even desired. Perhaps the author's previous work as a social worker and psychotherapist had broadened her awareness of the unusual types of relationships.

These stories were generally not celebrations of love. In fact, there seemed to be an overall sense of melancholy resignation, with this attitude perceived in the characters, often before the reader knows why. Un
Coral Rose
Amy Bloom. I have never read anything of hers before. I mean, I worked at a bookstore at the height of her Away's popularity, but I never did much more than crack the cover and read the book jacket. So why I chose this collection (A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You) of her short stories to start with, I'm not entirely sure. The first story is about a mother's love extending to her daughter as the girl becomes her son. I had just finished this when someone (at a gathering of J's family) aske ...more
I really like Amy Bloom's writing. I discovered her via The L Word, she was mentioned by Jenny in one of the episodes. I looked her site up and read some excerpts from her short stories and knew I wanted to read more of her work.

Bloom has a comfortable, conversational way of telling a story. I'm not one for short stories, whether they're good or bad. Bad short stories because they're a waste of time, and good short stories - because you want them to be more than just a short story. This is how
Carrie Schindele Cupples
Yes, these are very sad stories. But Amy Bloom seems to write about sadness in a revelatory way, rather than join-me-here-in-this-mucky-mess-of-desperation. The story "The Story" is so excellent, I was happy I read all the way through the collection to finally end on this sentence: "I have made the best and happiest ending that I can in this world, made it out of the flax and netting and leftover trim of someone else's life, I know, but made it to keep the innocent safe and the guilty punished, ...more
I can understand why other reviewers seem to either love or hate Amy Bloom's collection of short stories. The characters face aberration and tragic life circumstances at every turn and in large doses this can be overwhelming for casual reading. Taken one at a time, these are little pearls with inner dialogs that open the reader to an appreciation of the human capacity for unconditional love. Go for it. You'll be forced to think about "what-would-you-do-in-the-same-situation" and that is always a ...more
This collection was a finalist for the national book critics circle award and the back jacket was full of lines of praise from the New Yorker and the New York Times, but I didn't connect with the stories. I felt like they were written with a lot of polish and there was a lot of cleverness in the stories, but it all felt pretty glib to me and I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters emotionally. They seemed empty to me, shiny but without substance. I don't know. I guess lots of other p ...more
Savannah Jane
In her collection of eight short stories, A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, Amy Bloom tackles the often disregarded, often taboo imperfections of middle-age life. Though every story is either outright devastating or minimally melancholy, Bloom brings her readers through the motions of loss and revival (which in the writing turn out to become one in the same), shame and guilt, nostalgia and fear. Bloom is able to master the most difficult aspect of writing short stories: the meticulous cra ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Teresa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes short stories.
Amy Bloom is a powerful writer, and these short stories take your breath away. Her writing is spare, so reminds me of Raymond Carver, but she's writing from a woman's eye and these stories make your heart ache. Fabulous if you like short stories. Not for someone looking for a light read.
Such exquisite writing, great craft and story telling skill. Sigh.
Jenni V.
I really like the author's writing style. She has a flow that's easy to become absorbed in and her characters were all varied and flawed.
That being said, I'm neutral about this collection. I think it's me; these stories are all very melancholy and I wasn't in the right frame of mind to handle it.
I will definitely read more by this author but probably would not reread this particular book.
Find all my reviews at:
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You contains eight stories. The first seven of these (with perhaps the exception of Light Into Dark, but I'll come to that) are similar in the way that they start out somewhat slowly, some begin even slightly tedious - such as the opening title story - but by the end it is as if you have been kicked in the stomach. Somewhere you form an attachment and it's complete and it's stunning. Bloom's language is simple, but it conveys, completely. The aforementioned Li ...more
Cheryl Klein
I want to call these stories "ruthlessly human" or say they get in touch with the sharpest edges of femininity--I want to find a generalized, intelligent way of saying that when the narrator of "Stars at Elbow and Foot," who has lost her newborn son, says she hates all women because they might be pregnant, I quietly whispered yes. Most of Amy Bloom's characters are members of the upper and upper-middle classes who try to hold it together but don't fool themselves. Bloom isn't afraid to strip the ...more
Eh. I used to read a regular column of Amy Bloom's somewhere. This was apparently soooo long ago that when I just tried to research it, none of her biographies that I hit upon online contained this tidbit of information. I can't remember where it was but enjoyed it so much that I remember thinking that when she published her first book, I would jump right on it and be a lifelong fan.

Well, apparently I waited too long. I've been wanting to read this one for a number of years but when it finally
Kerry Kenney
Picked this book because it was listed as a great read in a magazine. The first story is about a mother whose daughter is transitioning to a new gender, at the end of the short story the mother inexplicably meets someone and kisses him but doesn't like it that he is not tall and that he gave her roses. Sounds lame? Yes, I thought so too. Now I'm reading the second story about a man whose wife is sick and her best friend is a lesbian and the budding friendship between her husband and the best les ...more
Eliza Victoria
I can't quite articulate how much I loved these stories, how much I admired the level of craft on display here. Characterizations are sharp, and descriptions are precise and concise. It is amazing. Consider this excerpt:

The summer Jessie Spencer turned five, she played Capture the Flag every day with the big boys, the almost-six-year-olds who'd gone to kindergarten a year late. Jane never worried, even in passing, about Jesse's IQ or her eye-hand coordination or her social skills. Jesse and Jane
Jun 28, 2011 Lili rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katia
Definitely like this short story collection better than Where the God of Love Hangs Out by the same author. I originally read this for a graduate class about ten years ago, but I'm glad that I decided to read it again with her newest collection so fresh in my mind.

Only two of the stories are interlaced, which means that the collection has a much wider variety of character, perspective, setting and subject matter. They all seem to leave the reader thinking, concerned whether everything will be o
Mar 03, 2012 Katherine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Katherine by: Stacey
Someone highly recommended me this book for its beautiful writing and short stories. I will say that the writing is quite nice and unique in some ways, but all these short stories were such downers. They all encompassed someone on terminal illness or dead in some way, and after reading a book about a husband dying of cancer, I really needed a break from the death/sickness genre. These stories also carry some weird and in some cases, incestuous plots that didn't make it any more interesting. Need ...more
I don't often read short stories, but I thought I would make an exception for this collection by Amy Bloom. I found it for a dollar at a library book sale and figured for that price I couldn't go wrong.
Reading this, I remembered why short stories just don't really do it for me. I actually like thick, detailed description and rambling back story, something you just don't get in the short story genre. I feel like short stories require a lot of assumption and reading between the lines, and I suppos
Katie M.
I seem to have developed complicated feelings about Amy Bloom. On the one hand, writing itself is pretty fantastic, and I guess I appreciate the ways her stories are casually sprinkled with queers and Jews and people of color. On the other hand, I didn't like any of her characters and had trouble caring about most of their stories. On the (third?) hand, I feel like she might have done that on purpose, which changes everything (sort of). So... yeah.
Alice Urchin
Things I liked: She writes a lot of LGBT characters (brownie points for stories with LGBT characters where the main conflict wasn't coming out as or just being LGBT). A lot of these stories deal with pretty heavy issues, and most of them don't have happily-ever-after endings.
Things I didn't like: Not that Bloom doesn't do it well, but this book was depressing on top of depressing on top of depressing. I wish that there had been some lighter stories or even more light moments (there were a few)
Tiny Pants
This one was another "why not?" pick from the $1 shelf at the Japanese bookstore. I'm not sure what it was other than the price that made me pick this one up -- I think maybe I had Amy Bloom confused with Amy Hempel, but then again I don't even like Amy Hempel, so who knows. In any event, for some reason I decided to give literary short fiction another try.

And you know what, it wasn't too bad. I mean yes, there was the usual -- cancer, cancer, weird sex stuff, cancer, cancer, weirder sex stuff,
these stories surprised me - they were more interesting and got me thinking more than i had expected. weirdly enough, this collection of short stories represents the second time that i have picked up an amy bloom book thinking it was written by some other author named amy whose work i read and liked one time awhile back (even now her name escapes me), and though the first time around i was overall rather unimpressed with what i got (bloom's novel, "love invents us" didn't blow me away), these pi ...more
Maybe it was the timing, but this book of short stories just did not do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it was beautifully written, but it was also tragic in so many ways. I struggled getting through some of them because they were so painful. Rather than wanting to read the next one as soon as I finished one, I kept hoping that the one I was on was the last one. Again, very well-written, but sad to read.
I loved Amy Bloom's short novel, Away, but I didn't really get into these stories. The book includes eight stories in 160 pages, so none of them are very long. I'm not a big fan of short stories, but I have read collections I liked a lot. Other people disagree with me about this book ; it's ranked higher than Away on Goodreads, but I didn't care much about the characters or what happened to them.
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Amy Bloom is the author of "Come to Me," a National Book Award finalist; "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You," nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; "Love Invents Us"; and "Normal." Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has wri ...more
More about Amy Bloom...
Away Lucky Us Where the God of Love Hangs Out Come to Me Love Invents Us

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“There is no such thing as a good writer and a bad liar.” 18 likes
“Sophisticated readers understand that writers work out their anger, their conflicts, their endless grief and rolling list of loss, through their stories. That however mean-spirited or diabolical, it's only a story. That the darkness in the soul is shaped into type and lies there, brooding and inert, black on the page, and active, dangerous, only in the reader's mind. Actually, harmless. I am not harmless.” 8 likes
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