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Contents Under Pressure

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Acclaimed writer and literary critic Ellen Prentiss Campbell presents a collection of eleven short stories that explore loss and yearning, hope and fear, and the tension between imagination, memory, and reality. She takes her characters — young, middle-aged, and elderly — to moments where the border between past and present crumbles.

Campbell uncovers dramas and
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Paperback, 180 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Broadkill River Press
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Timons Esaias
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I heard the author read from her work at a Festival of Books in Bedford, PA, and bought this book. I expect I'll also buy her novel, The Bowl with Gold Seams, which is set in the resort hotel where I heard her read. Being a writer of short fiction, though, I went for the short stories first.

These are literary-style short stories about women under pressure. They are "told" more than "shown" in the parlance of writing coaches, but are neither dull nor uneventful. They do turn more on e
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Susan Merrell
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved these semi-linked short stories that focus on the way we betray and are betrayed in long-term relationships, and on the role of the ability to endure. Campbell is a polished, smart writer who deserves a wide readership.
Marni
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Until recently, I wasn't a fan of short stories. I was too used to novels, so short stories seemed to leave me hanging. But I'm starting to get the appeal. I have not finished Contents yet (I've read about 2/3), because I'm saving it. It's good to have on hand when you start another book that turns out to be a disappointment, and you need something good to read Right Now. Occasionally in this book, we revisit characters, or see the same scene from a different character's point of view. Interesti ...more
Lucy
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
These contents are under pressure indeed! These interconnected stories don't hold their punches, revealing the darker sides of our human natures, unflinchingly. In The Bicycle Lesson a young girl struggles to understand her father's mental illness and in Idlewild, a mother and daughter vie for the love of a man. These stories feature fractured relationships and hopes; they speak to what makes us human. Technically, Campbell, knows how to tell a story, to keep the reader engaged with the inner wo ...more
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Ellen Prentiss Campbell is the author of the short story collection Contents Under Pressure (Broadkill River Press, February 2016), which was nominated for The National Book Award, and the novel The Bowl with Gold Seams (Apprentice House, May 2016). Her short fiction has been featured in numerous journals including The Massachusetts Review, The Fourth River, The Potomac Review, and The MacGuffin. Her essays and reviews have ap ...more