From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Eisenberg, like Alice Munro and Amy Hempl, is a short story specialist who infuses the concentrated form with emotional intricacy and depth, dark humor, suspense, and wonder. Fluent in the dreams, pretensions, and demands of New York City, Eisenberg writes with equal finesse about those who have succeeded in securing a place in the social order and floundering twentysomethings botching love and other opportunities. Eisenberg also knows how a small apartment can become a wilderness and how dangerous the isolation of a rural life can be. Her characters, especially betrayed women, curl themselves around their psychic wounds like hands cupped around a candle's flame as the world churns on, assured, impatient, devouring. A MacArthur fellowship is Eisenberg's most recent major award, and now readers are granted a boon: this glorious volume contains in their entirety Transactions in a Foreign Currency (1986), Under the 82nd Airborne (1992), All around Atlantis (1997), and Eisenberg's most commanding collection, Twilight of the Superheroes (2006). An electrifying gathering of masterful tales of treachery and resilience, souls lost and found.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Readers who have enjoyed Eisenberg's four volumes of short stories or grown familiar with her work in The New Yorker over the past 20 years will be thrilled with this substantial collection, which demonstrates the full range of her talents. These satisfyingly lengthy stories also have the potential to engross readers who avoid the genre, having been left hanging one too many times with lazy, enigmatic endings. Eisenberg is equally at home with artsy Manhattan social comedy (see "Flotsam," from Transactions in a Foreign Currency and "Some Other, Better Otto," from Twilight of the Superheroes), Jamesian narratives that characterize complex relationships in gracefully balanced long sentences (see "A Cautionary Tale," from Under the 82nd Airborne), politically savvy stories that capture differences of race and class through the perspective of American transplants in countries like Honduras (see "Broken Glass," Transactions, and "Someone To Talk To," from All Around Atlantis), and clear-eyed stories that nevertheless reveal the disjointed perceptions of characters with tragically damaged psyches (see "Window," Twilight). Verdict This impressive volume celebrates the prodigious talent of a writer who deserves to be better known.-Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.