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Book Title: Reasons to Live|
Date of issue: May 6th 1986
ISBN 13: 9780140086669
The author of the book: Amy Hempel
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.53 MB
Edition: Penguin Books
Read full description of the books Reasons to Live:I read somewhere that if you want to become a good writer, read Amy Hempel.
The reason is that she is not only a minimalist but also because she is an intelligent short story writer.
This is true. I don't have a plan to write because I am still busy with my corporate career. Maybe someday, who knows. Right now though, I am reading because I enjoy knowing the lives of other people, the situations they are into and I appreciate good writing styles. Seeing different techniques in writing, you know, the possibilities, never fails to amuse me.
Hempel's short stories are like Raymond Carver's sliced into small bits and pieces and those bits and pieces still tell stories that can even be better than Carver's.
You have to read slowly though. Reading Hempel is like pausing after each sentence because each sentence is like a piece of jigsaw puzzle. You have to take note all the edges and its possible connection, how each edge can possibly fit into the others laid on the table. How a sentence can mean to others you've already read and those that you will still read.
They say that the most anthologized story in this book, Hempel's first, is this In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried. I even had to look up who was Al Jolson before writing this review but I guess I missed the whole point so I did not really enjoy it. The ones that I enjoyed are "In a Tub" (the first story), "San Francisco" (this is puzzling) and "Beg, Sl Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep" (if you wonder what are these, you don't know about knitting). This book does not make me relate to any of the stories nor characters. However, it made me really think as you have to think while doing the jigsaw puzzle. Each piece, each sentence, each word, counts and you won't appreciate the story if you miss any of those.
Brilliantly written. Hempel is a league of her own.
Read information about the authorAmy Hempel is an American short story writer, journalist, and university professor at Brooklyn College. Hempel was a former student of Gordon Lish, who eventually helped her publish her first collection of short stories. Hempel has been published in Harper's, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Bomb. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Ambassador Book Award in 2007, the Rea Award for the Short Story in 2008, and the Pen/Malamud Award for short fiction in 2009.
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