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Over the past several decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the all-time great practitioners of the short story. Her incomparable vision, consummate skill, and bighearted spirit have earned her consistent comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and Frank O'Connor. Her latest work, gathered in this stunning collection of twenty new stories, is an occasion for celebration. 

Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the true excitement comes from the evocation of the interior lives of young Emily Knapp, who wishes she were a bug, and her inner circle. 

"The Golden Swan" transports the reader to a cruise ship with lavish buffets-and a surprise stowaway-while the lead story, "Tenderfoot," follows a widowed pedicurist searching for love with a new customer anguishing over his own buried trauma. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them to us with unsurpassed generosity. 

In prose as knowing as it is poetic, Pearlman shines a light on small, devastatingly precise moments to reflect the beauty and grace found in everyday life. Both for its artistry and for the recognizable lives of the characters it renders so exquisitely and compassionately, Honeydew is a collection that will pull readers back time and again. These stories are a crowning achievement for a brilliant career and demonstrate once more that Pearlman is a master of the form whose vision is unfailingly wise and forgiving.

"Honeydew should cement [Pearlman's] reputation as one of the most essential short story visionaries of our time."―The New York Times Book Review 

"There remain a few dedicated practitioners of the short story, and Edith Pearlman is one to be cherished... The 20 stories [in Honeydew] are vinegary, rueful, droll, humane and endlessly inquisitive. Though intricately constructed, they are slight in drama and emphasis, set down like a light footprint that nevertheless fixes itself in one's memory as though pressed in wet cement."―The Wall Street Journal

"Pearlman is our greatest living American short story writer, and Honeydew is her best collection yet."―The Boston Globe

"Pearlman's short fiction is interesting for the ways in which it combines proximity and distance... Pearlman can also move back from characters, in order to see the entire span of their lives. Then she becomes one of God's spies, condensing a life into a few sentences, taking on the power of prophecy... Pearlman's fiction brings together, with uncanny wisdom, short views and long views: the hours of lives and the length of our lives. She is tender and distant at once."―James Wood, The New Yorker 

"Even though [Pearlman's] characters have feet of clay like the rest of us, they often seem to float above the ordinary world like the figures in a Chagall painting... What a pleasure to encounter a writer who can speak volumes in a few short sentences."―The Seattle Times

"Reading a Pearlman story is like entering the jet stream of some stranger's life. You feel the rush and fear and excitement, and then you exit, overcome but satisfied. Her nuanced stories, each one a small gem, explore complicated relationships and strange conundrums found in everyday life."―San Fransisco Chronicle

"If you have never read Edith Pearlman, you're in for a lovely surprise, and if you have, you're in for another treat... Honeydew is ripe with often bittersweet, unconventional love stories that somehow manage to encompass loss and pain yet reaffirm the value of living... Like Alice Munro, Pearlman deftly encapsulates whole lifetimes in compact stories by focusing on pivotal moments that reverberate over decades."―The Washington Post

"Exquisite work... Such narrative judgment and authority are a pleasure to be in the presence of... This newest book contains 20 stories in fewer than 300 pages, and even the shortest among them convey a depth and a texture well out of proportion to what their word counts might suggest them capable of."―The Chicago Tribune

"Honeydew will afford an international audience another opportunity to enjoy Pearlman's distinctive and memorable fictions... Pearlman's stories--slightly old-fashioned in their use of conceit; refreshingly loose in their capacity for digression or tangent; occasionally Whartonian in the bemused and acidic clarity of their narrative eye--are sui generis...[these stories] share a particular perspective that, like a perfume, floats throughout... to make of life's everyday leavings a life-saving nectar--is perhaps, Pearlman's most consistent endeavor. She is wise, yes, but also unfailingly generous, even joyous... it certainly makes her fiction a fortifying pleasure to read."―Claire Messud, Financial Times

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