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<b>Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2012:</b> Joan Wickersham’s graceful new story collection explores the failings and desires of seven different sets of people, all of whom share a sense of longing and a single title: "The News from Spain." Each tableau fills a concentrated space with rich detail: the sickening smell of popcorn, crumpled tissues and crusted paintbrushes, a white breast in green water. Wickersham crafts intelligent and vivid narratives--the only two girls in an all-boys school build a delicate friendship; a bedridden wife takes comfort in brandy and her caretaker--but she is at her best in the realm of nuance, where a cardboard box gone unopened tells you everything you need to know. Human beings in a constant quest for kinship are nothing new. But in Wickersham’s hands, their journey feels entirely worth joining, even briefly, and the outcome is anything but certain. --<i>Mia Lipman</i>
<p>“Joan Wickersham’s brilliant <em>The News From Spain </em>shows, in all its twisty beauty, what a short story collection can do. The stories are gorgeous in themselves, but the way they speak to each other is truly extraordinary.” --Elizabeth McCracken, author of <em>An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination<br /></em><br /> From the author of the acclaimed memoir <em>The Suicide Index</em>, a virtuosic collection of stories, each a stirring parable of the power of love and the impossibility of understanding, much less controlling, it.<br /><br /> In these seven beautifully wrought variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories<em> </em>range over centuries and continents--from 18th-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president’s wife. A race-car driver’s widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer--all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination.<br /></p>