Tom's Reviews > Reasons to Live

Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel
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Jan 27, 2009

really liked it

Sometimes I don't like very short stories because they seem incomplete, or they seem like they could be better if the author hadn't shirked density/depth, or they seem like the author is using brevity to make some kind of statement when in actuality the only statement they're making is "I don't have the time to really develop this story." This book is an exception to that-- the writing is beautiful throughout, the characters fully realized within sentences and I can't imagine how long Amy Hempel had to spend to craft such perfectly executed writing.

Some of the stories didn't grab me, or maybe went over my head (this is a book that thrives on ambiguity and open-endedness), but some of them were so good that I've already re-read half the book.

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