Andrej's Reviews > The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel
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it was amazing

Her sentences are clear and hard and sometimes heavy, like glass I-beams. That's a bad metaphor, because they aren't transparent; the sentences are the things you notice the most.

I first read Amy Hempel's story, "The Harvest," a while ago. I don't remember who told me about it. Someone in a writing group somewhere. I found it online and thought it was the most compressed, sharp blade of a story I'd ever read. I saved it somewhere on a now-defunct laptop. But now I've got the collection.

Most of the stories are like "The Harvest": short, straight, with beautifully focused writing. And I mean short. Some are two pages--but a couple are just one sentence! The longest, "Tumble Home," is well worth stretching your attention span for. All the stories leave you with something: a phrase, an image, an idea, an emotion, a thirst.

Favorite story: The Dog of the Marriage.
Favorite quote: can't find it now, but it goes like this: (in a dog collar store in Paris) "'What kind of dog is he?' 'He's a beagle.' 'No, no, I mean, what's he like?'"
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
December 18, 2007 – Shelved

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