My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro

My Mistress s Sparrow is Dead Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro When it comes to love there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappoin

When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name It is p When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name It is perhaps only in reading a love story or in writing one that we can simultaneously partake of the ecstasy and agony of being in love without paying a crippling emotional price I offer this book, then, as a cure for lovesickness and an antidote to adultery Read these love stories in the safety of your single bed Let everybody else suffer Jeffrey Eugenides, from the introduction to My Mistress s Sparrow Is Dead All proceeds from My Mistress s Sparrow Is Dead will go directly to fund the free youth writing programs offered by 826 Chicago 826 Chicago is part of the network of seven writing centers across the United States affiliated with 826 National, a non profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

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My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro

  1. Jeffrey Kent Eugenides is an American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and short story writer of Greek and Irish extraction.Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan, of Greek and Irish descent He attended Grosse Pointe s private University Liggett School He took his undergraduate degree at Brown University, graduating in 1983 He later earned an M.A in Creative Writing from Stanford University.In 1986 he received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship for his story Here Comes Winston, Full of the Holy Spirit His 1993 novel, The Virgin Suicides, gained mainstream interest with the 1999 film adaptation directed by Sofia Coppola The novel was reissued in 2009.Eugenides is reluctant to appear in public or disclose details about his private life, except through Michigan area book signings in which he details the influence of Detroit and his high school experiences on his writings He has said that he has been haunted by the decline of Detroit.Jeffrey Eugenides lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife, the photographer and sculptor Karen Yamauchi, and their daughter In the fall of 2007, Eugenides joined the faculty of Princeton University s Program in Creative Writing.His 2002 novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Ambassador Book Award Part of it was set in Berlin, Germany, where Eugenides lived from 1999 to 2004, but it was chiefly concerned with the Greek American immigrant experience in the United States, against the rise and fall of Detroit It explores the experience of the intersexed in the USA Eugenides has also published short stories.Eugenides is the editor of the collection of short stories titled My Mistress s Sparrow is Dead The proceeds of the collection go to the writing center 826 Chicago, established to encourage young people s writingcmillan author jeffreharpercollins Author

236 Reply to “My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro”

  1. i have a hard time rating this book as a whole some of the stories made me cry others made me want to skip to the next one some i had already encountered in another life i couldn t stop reading this book i couldn t stop re reading the stories reading them aloud to my boyfriend watching the look on his face to see if they resonated as strongly with him it was beautiful and it was heart breaking and it hurt i felt so dreadful after reading some of them, like it was me this was happening to these s [...]

  2. Let s revisit the definition of love story, shall we While I have to admit most of these are excellent stories, I m not sure I d peg them as love stories Maybe my idea of love is just completely different than the authors of these short stories.In all, this book deserves 5 stars, as most of the writing in here was truly amazing and this is high praise coming from a girl who is not big into short stories I had to knock it down a few stars as the stories simply did not conform to what I wanted in [...]

  3. A love story can never be about full possession The happy marriage, the requited love, the desire that never dims these are lucky eventualities but they aren t love stories Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name.In his Introduction, Jeffrey Eugenides provides the above definition for what he was looking for when he set out to collect his favourit [...]

  4. Nowadays, any story about love is threaten to be a story about gender politics It s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, you just do not want politics, fight and feathers, you want a miracle which is love This story collection gives you just that It contains than two dozen love stories ranging widely from Nabokov to Miranda July and from Faulkner to Alice Monroe The stories were selected by Geoffrey Eugenides The collection is introduced by his essay on the nature of a love story and his cho [...]

  5. It s ridiculously difficult for me to rate this book because there is such a vast difference between the stories that I relished and the ones that I had to trudge through I adore Eugenides as an author, but his editing skills in regards to a collection of great love stories leaves something to be desired There are certainly stories that, to me, expressed the epitome of love, such as Munro s The Bear Came Over the Mountain, in which a husband begins to lose his wife of several decades to both dem [...]

  6. The moment I love best about any book, is the moment I start the first sentence That sense of anticipation when starting something new It s the moment when I open myself to a whole new discovery of characters, plot and settings It s also an intimate conversation with the author, a small personal confession perhaps or an admission of values whispered through dialogue between characters.I don t tend to read anthologies of short stories I only bought My mistress s sparrow is dead because I accident [...]

  7. I loved the variety of stories in this collection and was happy to be introduced to some classic contemporary writers whose work I d never actually read before.Okay, I ll admit it I hadn t read Harold Brodsky before, and for my money, First Love and Other Sorrows was worth the whole book However, I didn t like the other Brodsky story in the book The glacial movement through time and emotion in that story was deceptive next thing you know, time has passed and all has changed.I also lovedthe Eisen [...]

  8. Has some stellar names, some classic stories Have mixed feelings about the collection, but liked it overall My favourite stories from the collection were Anton Chekhov s The Lady with the Little Dog , Guy de Maupassant s Mouche and Mary Robison s Yours Longer review soon.

  9. Hmm, this is supposedly a great anthology, but is it safe to trust the tastes of an author I don t care for I ll have to find out Perhaps he s a better reader than he is a writer, which is too often the case It would seem not Two stars for two happy introductions to writers I hadn t considered before Miranda July Something That Needs Nothing and David Bezmozgis Natasha As for the rest Erg, the obviousness of some of these choices irritates me Joyce s The Dead, Chekhov s Lady with the Little Dog [...]

  10. Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name Jeffrey EugenidesMy late grandmother was quite ill the last time I met her She confused me with her stories as she mixed up my late grandfather with one of my uncle I did not have a chance to know either of my grandfathers as they died when I was few months old So the only way to know them was through my grandmother s stories about my grandfather or my father s about his father I don t know if she had loved her husband, my grandfather, [...]

  11. Mixed bag Some of the selections are just obvious classics everyone s read A Rose for Emily, The Dead, The Lady with the Little Dog, for example Others are by hugely famous authors like Kundera and Nabokov, but not nearly as frequently anthologized as far as I know Those two stories, The Hitch Hiking Game and Spring in Fialta respectively are probably the two best stories here excepting The Dead, which is so perfect it s hard to believe The contemporary stuff I thought was well selected, if aga [...]

  12. How could this book not be good I saw it in the bookstore and thought the design was so kick ass no book sleeve We all hate those anyways The design is ON the hard back Good decision 1 2 Jeffrey Eugenides edited it I never finished Middlesex because I left it on a plane to Italy But I was super enthralled during the first 80 pages I also love the Virgin Suicides Josh Hartnett, and Sophia Coppola 3 The stories, so far, are incredible And they re not all Dave Egger s ish in approach Like the cover [...]

  13. Jeffrey Eugenides, the editor of this collection of short stories begins by saying I offer this book as a cure for lovesickness and an antidote to adultery Read these love stories not to confirm the brutal realities of love, but to experience its many variegated, compensatory pleasures He takes the title from the poetry of Catullus, who writes of his mistress s pet sparrow as a rival for her attention When the sparrow dies and fortune seems to be going his way, he is really no better off her gri [...]

  14. Opinions on the quality of the writing aside, the apparent definition of love by the compiler and the authors tells me about them than I wish to know Apart from a fraction of the stories, the stories have nothing to do with love and to do with infatuation if the reader is lucky , lust, narcissism, unadulterated selfishness, and a complete lack of awareness of the other person in their relationship Immaturity as a characteristic is a relief in these essentially unrelenting depressing stories Pe [...]

  15. I love this collection Don t be mislead by the idea of great love stories this is not a sugary book These are painful, moving, messy stories about imperfect people I highly recommend it.

  16. This is, overall, a well curated collection of love related stories, or as Jeffrey Eugenides dubs it to paraphrase , stories about when the sparrow is alive, and stories about when the sparrow is dead While most of the pieces address dead sparrows, I had to skip a few on account of general as well as birthday oh, as well as pre V day malaise I m glad I was reminded of authors like Raymond Carver, whose unsettling What We Talk About When We Talk About Love addresses moribund domestic love, and in [...]

  17. What an unusual collection of love stories A few were along the lines of what is expected upon hearing the term love story , but many of the contributions defied tradition in some respect I especially enjoyed the entries by Chekhov, Moore, Dybek, de Maupassant, and Saunders I was never a big fan of Chekhov s The Cherry Orchard, but The Lady With the Little Dog piqued my interest in reading of his short stories Dybek s We Didn t, though frustrating for the narrator, is thoroughly enjoyable from [...]

  18. For the most part, anthologies blow I only picked this one up because of the diversity of the authors They put Faulkner, De Maupassant, and Chekhov on the same bill as Saunders, Munro, and Miranda July Sounds like one of Dave Barry s loony debacles to unite the literary world And I m not so far off Eugenides in his introduction attributes his focus on love stories to the Bono of Lit, himself But despite my petty contrivances, this is a damn good collection.There are some stories that I have read [...]

  19. It s hard for me to give this book an overall rating It is a bittersweet collection full of the certain ache that only love can stir There were some familiar stories I had read before, but most were new to me and all were good, with one being especially great.These stories I had read before Chekhov s The Lady with the Little Dog, Faulkner s A Rose for Emily, Joyce s The Dead, Nabokov s Spring in Fialta, and Carver s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love All are great stories with Checkhov s [...]

  20. I purchased this some time ago, and it s been waiting patiently on my bookshelves before being tossed into my suitcase as a last minute back up holiday read Upon starting it, I cursed myself for ignoring it for so long, because right from the opener Harold Brodkey s First Love and Other Sorrows this collection is short story writing at its best As Jeffrey Eugenides explains in his introduction, he has not selected stories where the lovers are instantly fulfilled and live happily ever after In hi [...]

  21. When a short story compilation goes by the subtitle Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro you might be excused for thinking that you already know who will be appearing on this list of usual suspects This collection, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides, is anything but predictable, however and that is its greatest strength Sure, there are a few familiar names here beyond Chekhov and Munro, there is Raymond Carver, Ovid, Nabokov, and Kundera but there are plenty of unexpected names interspersed through [...]

  22. I FINALLY finished this book after likeover a year or something A long time And even though it took me so long, I recommend reading it the way I did spaced out This collection is so awesome that I wouldn t want the stories blurring together in my memory They re all so different and amazing for very different reasons Out of all the stories in the book, there were probably only two that I didn t care for And even those weren t terrible they just didn t make me feel as much as the others did.One st [...]

  23. A few stories are conservative choices with ubiquitous homes Checkov, de Maupassant, Faulkner but other selections here are fresh and innovative Eugenides has chosen stories that explore the many wondrous facets of love rather than simply targeting the romantic On the down side I ve always found Guy de Maupassant dry and dated and the story Mouche only further confirmed this for me Nabokov s story Spring in Fialta is excessive Moore s second person story How to be Another Woman is difficult to d [...]

  24. I love short stories And I love LOVE stories So I bought this book prepared to be heartbroken and joyful and wallow in the genius of truly magnificent writing After all the book promises these are the GREATEST love stories.Well I started reading And eventually I slowed down I wasn t looking forward to each story I just wanted to finish the bloody book Hardly any of the stories moved me Did I have a heart of stone I finally twigged what the problem was when I looked at the authors list at the bac [...]

  25. I am pretty sure this is the worst title of a book I have ever seen I bought it to take with me to Italy I wanted something I wouldn t finish in 2 days or even 2 weeks I have been listening to a series of lectures on tape about Reading He referenced Chekov s short story, The Lady With the Little Dog I thought, OK, I ll get it and at least read THAT story Well, It is probably a great story but I didn t love it like I loved Alice Munro s story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain, Harold Brodkey s sto [...]

  26. I was wavering toward a three star review until I read the last story, a gorgeous piece by Alice Munro in which a man deals with his wife s encroaching dementia.The subtitle great love stories is deceiving, as might be expected in a McSweeney s anthology edited by Jeffrey Eugenides There s love, but also lust and love lost and unrequited love Not too many happy endings in the batch There are a few classics, like Faulkner s A Rose For Emily, alongside some future classics and some misfires I like [...]

  27. Because Jeffrey Eugenides takes his sweet time between writing incredible novels, when I heard there was a short story compilation edited by him it was purchased on my account and being shipped to my house as fast as my fingers could go After reading the first few stories I began to get worried I didn t bother to read what the theme of the compilation was when I purchased his name was enough for me But the first few stories by some of the classics Faulkner, Joyce had me terrified I had signed u [...]

  28. In terms of style, well written, but otherwise there isn t much to recommend these stories unless you like reading about fickle men who value women only as mysterious objects of desire It was grim that she existed and I had not had her is a sentence from one of the stories which sums the whole collection quite nicely.Having read all the stories, I returned to the introduction and realized the whole unpleasant experience of reading them could have been avoided had I read the introduction closely [...]

  29. Like so many of the other reviewers, I have such mixed feelings about rating this book Some of the short stories sparkle However, there were a few that left me a little disappointed, though not so much because of the quality of writing, rather because I felt that I didn t belong in this book My main problem with the collection isn t so much a criticism I felt like the whole time I was reading it, I was expecting something so very different than what was there I suppose that s my issue, than the [...]

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