Do Not Deny Me – Stories
When Jean Thompson — “America’s Alice Munro” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—is telling stories, “You cannot put the book down” (The Seattle Times), and her superlative new collection, Do Not Deny Me, is one to be savored, word by word.
Here is a title that demands — and commands — attention in and of itself. Yet Thompson’s latest collection is no literary dare, delivering as it does twelve dazzling new stories that together offer, with wit, humor, and razor-sharp perception, a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day.
“Thompson…delivers a deeply affecting collection that elevates the quotidian to the sublime….explore[s] a bewildering array of experience…Thompson immerses readers in details and emotions so consuming and convincing that the inane vagaries of modern life can take on near mythic importance. This collection shows the confidence and power of a writer in her prime.”
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“[Thompson’s] particular grace…may be that her language and approach at first seem so straightforward that it’s only partway through reading a story that, like one of her characters, we experience the surprise of a new world unfolding from the ordinary….twilit, elegiac…downright funny, too…Reviewing such a remarkable writer, one’s own words can seem too ordinary, but Thompson’s talent is such that it can overcome even those limitations.”
— Booklist, Starred Review
“I don’t deny it. I didn’t know Jean Thompson’s short fiction until I began reading this new volume of a dozen stories — and didn’t stop. Move over, Alice Munro, this gifted writer now sits in my mind near the throne of the short-story queens and kings of old. She is a master of dialogue, character, pacing and plot, and — anyone who loves the form will have to cheer about this…Thompson employs spare, plain language, whose rhythms she assembles appropriately for various occasions.”
— Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
“[In] Jean Thompson’s immensely satisfying new collection…emotional movement is small but powerful….The prose brims with unforced insight.”
— Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times
“The experiences of ordinary people…are precisely depicted in this fifth collection from the increasingly accomplished Thompson…who wields illuminating quotidian details and stunningly apt clichés with lethal skill, demonstrates how closely their desires and disappointments parallel and echo our own….Wonderful work from a contemporary master of scrupulous observation, plain statement and unvarnished common sense.”
— Kirkus Reviews