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The Pretty Girl
From Victorian toy theatres to a painting with a mysterious story behind it to a graphic novelist's battle with the schizophrenia which causes her cartoon characters to march off the page, the novella and six stories in Debra Spark's fourth work of fiction, The Pretty Girl, revolve around artists, artistry, and the magical--sometimes malicious--deceptions they create. With ...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Four Way Books
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I read more novels than story collections, but I'm glad I broke the novel habit to read The Pretty Girl. Spark is a virtuoso in characterization and achieves it with remarkable economy, laying bare the very marrow of people you've just spent several pages with, yet feel as if you've followed and eavesdropped on them most of their lives. I loved the disarmingly conversational narration, drawing me in like the asides of a sly, perceptive friend. Time and again, I felt as if I were sitting onstage, ...more
A painting can be a mirror or a window, the art historical theory goes, but in Debra Spark’s fourth and newest work of fiction, it is more likely to be a puzzle. Art is a product of deception after all, and in this collection, a novella and six stories, the puzzling and the deceptive abound. Illusions, miniatures, stories hidden in pictures, pictures inside stories—these run through the lives of Spark’s characters as mysteries of a familiar nature: hidden family histories, missed opportunities w ...more
I loved the way Debra brings her characters to life, through the telling details of their thoughts and observations. I also enjoy her quirky sense of humor, which shines through. I heard her read this week; she said that all the stories are about art and deception, which they are.
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book of short stories. The entitled novella "The Pretty Girl" was undoubtedly my favorite of all three of the stories that I read from this collection. I'm sure these stories are appreciated by some, but as hard as I tried.. I couldn't get into them. However, the author has a very imaginative voice and a creative mind.
Debra Spark is the author of The Pretty Girl, a collection of stories about art and deception that will be published in April 2012 by Four Way Books. She is the author of the novels Coconuts for the Saint, The Ghost of Bridgetown and Good for the Jews. Spark edited the best-selling anthology Twenty Under Thirty: Best Stories by America's New Young Writers and her popular lectures on writing are co ...moreMore about Debra Spark