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In This Light: New and Selected Stories
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In This Light: New and Selected Stories

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A vibrant selection of stories from the author of Sweet Hearts and First, Body

This selection of Melanie Rae Thon's stories showcases her breathtaking ability to become each one of her characters, to move inside the bodies and minds of the dispossessed. One woman speaks for them all: "I'm your worst fear. But not the worst thing that can happen."

In This Light shimmers wit
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Graywolf Press
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Melanie Page
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In This Light is one of the oldest collections on my shelf of books I own. I purchased it at a reading in 2011 (it was published by Graywolf Press that year) and met the author. I picked her up at the airport and was invited to a (free) pre-reading dinner at the pricey inn on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. This was before I took notes at readings, so I don’t have anything to add about the author other than I remember at dinner she ate only steamed vegetables and she admired my color ...more
My review from the Missoula Independent:

In This Light, by Montana-raised writer Melanie Rae Thon, is a brutally lucid new collection. Reading the nine stories seems akin to being electrocuted and then wading into a frigid body of water nine times in succession—only to realize that you love every step of the way. What I'm trying to say is that this is a damn fine collection of short fiction. You don't merely read this book, you listen carefully to its spellbinding rhythms, and once you've recover
Matt Hlinak
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Throughout my formal writing training, I have studied the works of successful authors, based on the idea that I can find something useful in those works to apply to my own writing. It is impossible to quantify the extent to which my reading has influenced my writing, but I have not, with one exception, self-consciously tried to emulate another writer. In my one imitation experiment, I struggled with the decision of how closely to hew to the source material. After all, I wanted to write an homage ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alan by: Michael
Shelves: short-stories
Enchanting, disgusting, beautiful stories about life and death among losers and thieves, drug addicts, the ostracised, the poor and the ordinary. But the writing is far from ordinary. My initial enthusiasm was dampened about half way through because the very richness that was so appealing began to lie a little heavy, like a taster meal at a top (read expensive) restaurant. You longed for a plain potato/ a Carver-esque sentence or two. However along would come something to take your breath away e ...more
Calvin Glover
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is my good fortune to attend a fiction workshop taught by Melanie Rae Thon at the University of Utah. I knew I had to get in her class after reading this collection of some of her stories. She is an incredibly powerful writer. Her characters are often violent or destructive, but they are never clichéd. She writes with an unflinching honesty coupled with compassion. You have the sense that every sentence has been carefully crafted; every word meticulously selected. Some day, when I grow up, I ...more
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I adore Melanie Rae Thon, and her stories contain the empathy and spirituality of her character. The language and heart in these stories is beautiful. Each story delves into the mind and soul of the characters.
I read these stories slowly, one at a time, and I recommend that method. These stories are meant to be savored.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves short stories. I had to read this book for a fiction crafting class, and all of the selected stories were nothing short of amazing. Melanie Rae Thon has a knack for capturing situations and people and making them real to the reader. All of the short stories were compelling and worthy of being analyzed, and are all stories I will definitely be rereading in the future.
May 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Wow. I mean, if authors write what they know, then I feel really sorry for Melanie Rae Thon. I've never read anything of hers before and I thought this collection of short stories sounded interesting from the descriptions on Goodreads. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed.

I'm not one who generally enjoys dark, potent, heavy dramas. That's all this author seems to know how to write. I really wanted to like these stories, and I wanted to understand the characters and empathize with them but I w
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Melanie Rae Thon's new short story collection explores the themes of love, guilt, grief, and redemption. Thon's brilliant lyrical prose transcends the gritty mundane into spiritual timelessness. Most of these stories are old favorites gathered into one volume. There are, however, a few new gems which I devoured.

In the short story, "Confessions of Raymond Good Bird," Thon's use of word choice paints a portrait of a man delivered from his earthly sins to eternal life in love. Thon describes Raymon
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I won this book in a FirstReads giveaway.
The author is certainly talented, and the quality of the writing is very good. However, the content of the stories is dark to the point of making you almost physically nauseated, and seems to go along the lines of, "What else can go wrong in people's lives? Let's add that in, too." I suppose if I found pleasure in the depressing, I would have really enjoyed this book. As it is, though, I mostly enjoyed the last story - maybe because by then I had come to
Robbins Library
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: linda-recommends
Each story is amazingly well-crafted and the subject matter is pretty dark. My inclination upon finishing was to immediately go back and read all the stories again because I think I could have gotten more out of them, but as always I have a huge pile of other books on desk. I highly recommend In This Light to anyone who appreciates good writing. Very strong collection!
Oct 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
This is a book of short stories. Sounded like it would be interesting. I think the first story set the tone for my expectations which was subpar. I dont really get the point of the first story. The way this particular author writes annoyed me though i can't quite put my finger on the reason why. Maybe i just felt too many stories felt pointless..maybe i missed the reasoning somehow.
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: Kevin O'Kelly
Shelves: read-fiction
My review is here.
Kim Anderson
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
So many beautiful stories written over the years.
Patricia Geller
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Stories from all her collections and some new ones. She is a fabulous writer. I would just go back and get her earlier books.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great book of wonderfully written short stories. Enjoyed each one.
Val Dobrushkin
rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2015
rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2012
Luann Schindler
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a rare collection of stories. Wish there were more "new" stories.
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Jan 13, 2017
Lisa Lesyshen
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Nov 18, 2011
Katy Gunn
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Apr 06, 2014
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Domi Shoemaker
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Mar 23, 2014
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Aug 15, 2013
Amber Sparks
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2015
rated it it was ok
Jul 06, 2012
Marisa Atkinson
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Dec 23, 2010
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Jul 07, 2014
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Mar 13, 2012
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Melanie Rae Thon is a Professor of English at the University of Utah.
More about Melanie Rae Thon

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