Seven Love Stories
It just made me deeply sad to read it. Th Do not be fooled by the subtitle of this book. There is very little hope for romance, or enduring love, or anything that one remotely hopes for when they get married. When a friend mentioned that she was between reading this and something else, I told her to read something else. I hate for my friends to be sad. Dear Authors, It is not a crime to write well, and to write about happy things simultaneously. If I want to be depressed, I will watch the news, or Argo. I have two toddlers and do not want to spend my free time being told how awful the world is, and how little chance there is for being happy in it.
View 2 comments. Nov 12, Alice Meloy rated it really liked it. Ever since reading Nam Le's brilliant short story collection, The Boat, a couple years ago, I have been more willing to pick up short stories than I used to be. But there are so many books in my "To Read" stacks that I probably would not have given this collection a chance had it not been for Liz's strong recommendation. I was not disappointed. With seven very different situations and sets of characters, Wickersham explores and describes all kinds of love relationships, proving that love is neve Ever since reading Nam Le's brilliant short story collection, The Boat, a couple years ago, I have been more willing to pick up short stories than I used to be.
With seven very different situations and sets of characters, Wickersham explores and describes all kinds of love relationships, proving that love is never simple. This is no light-weight mushy look at romance but rather an unusually perceptive anatomy of many different kinds of relationships, each story meaty enough to feel like its own separate novel.
And the author manages to insert the phrase "the news from Spain" into each story, just to make us smile? Feb 04, Sheila Guevin rated it really liked it. This is an exception to the rule book for me. I rarely read collections of short stories. The genre lends itself to quick contemplative thoughts. In just a few pages, the writer makes his point and then you need to put that away to move onto the next unrelated topic often without giving it time to develop.
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For me it is equivalent to sitting down and eating and entire box of mixed chocolates. Too much, too sweet for one sitting.
What makes The News From Spain different is that it is variations on This is an exception to the rule book for me. What makes The News From Spain different is that it is variations on the same theme: love. Love in all its complicated and twisty forms. The range of her characters, the range of her locations, the range of her stories add a great depth of dimension to the one theme she follows throughout My biggest regret with this book, is that I don't currently belong to a book group.
Here is a book of short stories that provokes discussion. Dec 20, Bookslut rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories. This was a great book. It sort of had me at hello, since all the stories were titled The News From Spain, which I found incredibly clever. I was left confused with the last two in the collection, hence the dip to four stars, because they contained flashbacks that were not directly linked to the non-flashback portions of the story.
I knew she was going for some kind of tie-in, and I really worked to figure it out for her, but at best I could feel a link I was barely missing, and a general themati This was a great book. I knew she was going for some kind of tie-in, and I really worked to figure it out for her, but at best I could feel a link I was barely missing, and a general thematic similarity ie: adultury.
I would love to read this with one of my friends and compare notes, to puzzle those last two out. Ironically, they were the two that most grabbed me in the jacket synopsis. I found her writing a good deal like Alice Munro, who I think is brilliant. Sep 22, Lisa rated it it was amazing.
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I bought this book because it was recommended by a staff member in a bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin. One of those little write-ups people do. This one I think said "just read it. I had things to do and took it with me everywhere. It is not an easy read. It is painful. Love is painful and reading this book it becomes more painful. There is a lot of sadness in this book, be forewarned. It is honest and true to life. It spans decades and centuries. Ther I bought this book because it was recommended by a staff member in a bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin.
There is at least one paragraph of the book I would want to save forever to read over and over but i will not quote it here. You may have your own excerpt you prefer and since it is close to the end of the book, it might give something away. Jul 06, Kathryn Bashaar rated it really liked it. I liked how the phrase "the news from Spain" appears in all of the stories in this book. It's not really significant; I just liked how the author managed to fit it in to all these different stories. All of them are love stories, but definitely not pat romances.
The man and woman usually don't love equally, or in the same way. In several of the stories, one or both of the lovers is married to someone else. Timing is off, secrets are kept, we don't really know each other at all. In other words, th I liked how the phrase "the news from Spain" appears in all of the stories in this book. In other words, these stories felt heartbreakingly like real life. Mar 10, Maree rated it really liked it Shelves: lit-exploration-challenge. This is an amazing collection of stories about all different types of love.
Love is a choice you make every day
As with all short story collections, there were stories that hit harder than others and some I didn't enjoy as much as others, but there's so much messy reality recorded in these pages that I think there's something for almost everyone to relate to. Beautifully written, and make sure you know the historical background for some of her pieces when you read, too. It just adds to it. Oct 10, Ken Harvey rated it it was amazing. To read a Joan Wickersham book is to read something entirely new.
As was the case with her masterful Suicide Index, The News From Spain enters territory unchartered by any other writer working today. The News From Spain dazzles in its construction, its characters, and in its language that is at once crystal-clear and evocative. Not only does Wickersham break down the boundaries of what we understand as the literary genre, she also entertains us with a wonderful read. May 07, Dee Dunckley rated it really liked it.
I love a good short story and Joan Wickersham writes some good ones here. The writing style is unobtrusive in the best sense of the word, it's deft and interesting but not showy or heavy-handed, and so you are free to relax and hear the tale. Nice balance between observation, characterization and story. Will read her again. Dec 31, Allie rated it really liked it. As I described to my husband, they're more about how two people can be so miserable together. But really, really well-written. But don't let that description put you off this collection.
It was really, really good. Oct 20, Laurie rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. Oh, what a lovely book. Consisting of 7 short stories, all with the title, The News from Spain. Very character driven, beautifully written, this is a book that makes you think of your life, compare and contrast with the stories and characters. I can't wait to read more by Joan Wickersham. This book came highly recommended. I lost it to someone in a book swap and then was lucky enough to get the last copy at the bookstore.
I've read it slowly over the course of several months, savoring each story. Beautiful writing - I highly recommend this book! Jun 19, Heather rated it really liked it. Love lost, unrequited, and in altered states from the point of view of middle aged women. Loved the stories. I was hooked. Jul 25, Patrick Ryan rated it it was amazing. I loved this innovative--and often funny--story collection by Joan Wickersham. Highly recommended. Nov 29, Kiersten Lawson rated it really liked it. Not unlike the steady sneaky pull of an unexpected desire, I was delighted and intrigued by Wickersham's innovative approach to connecting her book of stories.
Each shares the book's title and almost all include that phrase within the prose of the story. They are otherwise seemingly unrelated, other than in theme. They are all stories about love - parental, filial and fraternal as well as romantic - in all its complexity, self-deception, tenuousness, betrayal, humiliation, loneliness, comfort an Not unlike the steady sneaky pull of an unexpected desire, I was delighted and intrigued by Wickersham's innovative approach to connecting her book of stories.
They are all stories about love - parental, filial and fraternal as well as romantic - in all its complexity, self-deception, tenuousness, betrayal, humiliation, loneliness, comfort and longing. They cover as much ground in subject matter as in time period and terrain. Most resonant with me, they are mostly focused on women in the last third of their lives - whether navigating relationships with a friend, a parent, a lover or a spouse, these women are self-posessed and world-wise.
Individually these stories are insightfully, internally, detailed to the point of achieving universal meaning as a whole.
The meaning? Why that's as clear as the news from Spain. Excerpts: "I am writing about women, about love and humiliation. Men do it to us, but mostly we do it to ourselves. We love the wrong people; we love at the wrong time.
We think that we can make it right, reconcile the unreconcilable. We are like game-show contestants who don't know when to stop. We could go home right now with the money and the washing machine, but we want the car so we keep going and we get the answer wrong, or choose the wrong door, or spin the wheel too hard, and the we have to go home with nothing.
It had been the beginning, for him, of a particular kind of loneliness: the kind that comes from remembering something wonderful, knowing that you're remembering accurately but forgetting some of it, and knowing that there's no one left who can corroborate or complete the story. In a way they didn't trust each other. It had nothing to do with thinking the other person wouldn't understand - he knew that she would have, and she knew the same of him. It was thinking that the other person's understanding wouldn't really make any difference.
Maybe they were right, maybe it wouldn't have. There was something comfortable, and symmetrical, about sitting there together thinking they knew how deep their trust in each other - or in anyone - could do, and where the limits were going to be. It is there; and it gets proved, over and over. Some of their worst fights, confusingly, seem to both prove and disprove it: two people who didn't love each other couldn't fight like that - certainly not repeatedly. Are there mothers and daughters who can be happy together without saying much? What did a life, anyone's life, add up to? Why did Harriet feel she had a right to say things like that?
In her head, Rebecca wrote the script for what a mother should say in this situation: 'That's wonderful. The recent, long entente around Harriet's illness had lulled Rebecca into a false sense of safety.
The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story
She felt ambushed. You liked him but felt guilty around him; he seemed to think better of you than he should have. You worried that there was some fundamental thing that might be missing, some difference between you and other girls that was just now starting to show itself but that would become more and more apparent as you grew up, like the progressive divergence of two nearly parallel, but not parallel, lines.
She would never have used a word like that - a condescending endearment, or indeed any endearment - before she got sick. Now he'd pulled it off and left it lying on the floor, for someone else to pick up. Life is transitory. Words have the power to correct, conceal, and endure. But I have learned that memory is inconstant, which is perhaps its greatest danger and also its greatest virtue, the way in which it most truly mirrors our experience upon this earth.
What we did not say was that with these hurts an edge is worn down. It happens out of necessity - it would not be safe to carry a knife that sharp. I wanted him to somehow give me the words without saying them, the way spies and fugitives in movies mouth words to each other silently because they know the room is bugged. But it turns out that no, in fact she is entirely at ease and unself-conscious He is the one who is self-conscious, or rather conscious of her, of the body.
Of all bodies, suddenly, no one is immune: their sagging and slumping, their softening, their improbable fortitude and inevitable weakness, their gallant, long, doomed struggle against failure. He is not a sentimentalist, but the sound of her heart, pumping resolutely and privately beneath the white mottled skin of her chest, nearly brings him to tears. She'd like to see him and hear from him sometimes.
She doesn't cringe, but she doesn't want to take up too much space. She just wants him to allow himself to matter to her, to matter more than anyone else does, or has, or will. What do you do with such a gift? He is free to speak of love without saying more than he can honestly say. When she is dead, her daughter will find his letters and burn them in the bedroom fireplace. Jun 20, Usacnnnews rated it it was amazing. We are the world best leading online newspaper portal. You all are the most welcome in our newspaper. If you want to get regular newslatter from our newspaper, please go home page politics news and click the below subscribe button.
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Women and men who are otherwise strong and perceptive frequently get into the wrong relationships because they don't understand the love stories they are enacting. Shattering the popular myth that most romantic problems are caused by pervasive low self-esteem or miscommunication, this essential book can help anyone succeed in finding a satisfying, lasting relationship. Discovering which story we are reenacting helps us to avoid potential pitfalls and allows us to make choices that bring greater happiness. Love and relationships, in their many manifestations, can be elusive even to those in the midst of them.
This book is a first step on the road to romantic fulfillment. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published March 6th by William Morrow first published March 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Seven Stories of Love , please sign up. Excellent book. I highly recommend it.
Marcia makes the point, which too many neglect, that we may choose to reenact our parents' relationships because we want to succeed where our parents may have failed.