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Fabrications

New and Selected Stories

Pamela Painter

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A crowning collection from the award-winning short story writer Pamela Painter.

Pamela Painter's short stories have been praised by Margot Livesey for their "wicked intelligence and ruthless humor." In Fabrications, which brings together 7 new and 24 selected stories, characters struggle to avoid the chaos in their lives, but—driven by addictions and appetites—often bring on disaster. Nobody is ordinary in Painter's stories. A burglar can't believe what he is asked to do by the woman whose jewelry he is stealing. Hitchhikers, hell-bent on murder, are thwarted by the miracle of story-telling. A…

A crowning collection from the award-winning short story writer Pamela Painter.

Pamela Painter's short stories have been praised by Margot Livesey for their "wicked intelligence and ruthless humor." In Fabrications, which brings together 7 new and 24 selected stories, characters struggle to avoid the chaos in their lives, but—driven by addictions and appetites—often bring on disaster. Nobody is ordinary in Painter's stories. A burglar can't believe what he is asked to do by the woman whose jewelry he is stealing. Hitchhikers, hell-bent on murder, are thwarted by the miracle of story-telling. A wife can make rooms—and her husband—disappear, but saves the family dog. A young woman insists on the romance of being married in an Elvis Presley chapel, but for the wrong reasons.

Fabrications is a testament to Painter's lyric skill and psychological insight across her career.

Praise for Previous Books by Pamela Painter

"These wonderful stories—about dogs and housewives, scholars and teenagers—vividly demonstrate Painter's wicked intelligence and ruthless humor and her utterly democratic interest in all our faults and foibles.... [A] quirky, sexy, irresistible collection."—Margot Livesey

"Pamela Painter's stories are warm, wise, funny, and ultimately true to the way we live now—trying to carry on in the face of things breaking down around us. Reading each story is a thrill—for the full-blown lives, astute details, exact metaphors, and pitch-perfect dialogue. She's like a carpenter—nailing it, again and again."—Bobbie Ann Mason

"This is fiction of immense beauty, full of wisdom and informed by rare grace."—Steve Yarbrough

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Pamela Painter

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Reviews

Reviews

[Painter's] latest stories, the ones that make up the opening section of her recently released Fabrications: New and Selected Stories (Johns Hopkins University Press), would in and of themselves constitute ample reason to buy and enjoy the book. But in fact, Fabrications draws from her entire career, giving us the finest stories from her four previous collections.

A great pleasure of Fabrications—and one of the most unusual aspects of the collection—is the variety of forms [used], from very short stories like "Dud"—in which a film editor creates a brilliant preview out of a terrible film—to much more expansive stories like "Her Elvis Presley Wedding.""

There are 31 stories in this collection, and I think each is a gem. Plunge headfirst into its pages and read right through or savor the stories slowly over time. There's a Painterly quality to it all. You've entered the house of a master, and you are safe in her hands

Few writers can generate as much tension in so few pages as Painter... Painter's art lies in how she so efficiently dramatizes how foolishly we 'exaggerate, lie, edit.'

Painter is too wise an artist to conclude that every fabrication, literary or not, must be damaging. Some are downright necessary. Painter's genius for subversion, for skewering her characters with their own self-serving lies and denials, is balanced by awareness of the vulnerabilities that can make reality so hard to bear.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
328
ISBN
9781421438924
Table of Contents

New Stories

Her Elvis Presley Wedding
Brochure
A Fabricated Life
Off Stage
Doors
Blood-Red Moon
Hitchhikers

From Getting to Know the Weather (1985)

The Next Time I Meet Buddy Rich
Intruders of Sleepless

New Stories

Her Elvis Presley Wedding
Brochure
A Fabricated Life
Off Stage
Doors
Blood-Red Moon
Hitchhikers

From Getting to Know the Weather (1985)

The Next Time I Meet Buddy Rich
Intruders of Sleepless Nights
Something to Do
The Kidnappers
Getting to Know the Weather

From The Long and Short of It (1999)

Feeding the Piranha
Custody
New Family Car
The Real Story
The Bridge
The Second Night of a One-Night Stand

From Wouldn't You Like to Know: Very Short Stories (2010)

Appetites and Addictions
A View: Office at Night
Ice
Dud
Driver's Test
Put to Sleep
My Honey

From Ways to Spend the Night (2016)

Grief
Breathe
Reading in His Wake
Home Depot
Hindsight
Ways to Spend the Night

Acknowledgments
About the Author

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Pamela Painter

Pamela Painter is the author of four short story collections: The Long and Short of It, Wouldn't You Like to Know, Ways to Spend the Night, and Getting to Know the Weather. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Sewanee Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Emerson College.