Friday, May 26, 2006

Literary Event of the Year? Amy Hempel Is Back In Stores

This may become the summer of short stories.

I've been delighted with Etgar Keret's stories, and I'm a bit hungry for more.

But I've got another gem on deck. Ever since reading Chuck Palahniuk's
essay "Not Chasing Amy," I've been fruitlessly hunting for books by Amy Hempel. They're out of print. Good luck finding a used copy. But a few weeks ago her collected short stories was released, and I snatched a copy up right away... hardcover no less. Adding to my excitement was a little piece by Benjamin Strong in the Voice.

Each ode to Hempel (Palahniuk, Strong, the intro by Rick Moody) pulls out singular lines that hit you like a ton of bricks. For instance, "The impact knocked two days out of my head, but all you can see is the cut on my chin," or
"The year I began to say vahz instead of vase, a man I barely knew nearly accidentally killed me."


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