Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories

“ One of our most exquisite storytellers ” ( Esquire) brings us his first collection in over a decade: ten potent new stories that, along with twenty-one classics, display his mastery over a quarter century.

Tobias Wolff ’ s first two books, In thi Garden of the Sout American Martyrs and Back in thi World, ere a powerful demonstration of how the short story can “ provoke our amazed appreciation, ” as Thi New York Times Book Review wrote then. In the months since, he ’ s written a third collection, he Night in Question, as well as a pair of genre-defining memoirs ( This Boy ’ s Life and In Pharaoh ’ s Army), he nove The Barracks Thief, and, most recently, th boo, Old School.

Now he returns with fresh revelations—about biding one ’ s time, or experiencing first love, or burying one ’ s mother—that come to a ariety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired Marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who ’ s picked his pocket. In bot tories, as with his earlier, much-anthologized work, he once again proves himself, according to the Los Angeles Times, “ a writer of the lowes order: part storyteller, part philosoph, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve. ”
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories
Publication Date
Published March 25th 2008 by Knopf

Public Commentary

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He say in the prefac the question of revisiting one 's earlier published work or not, and that as an author he feels it is a gift to the reader to make housekeeping edits when he inds a sentence or word needs it.

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No meditative drift or open-ended conclusions for this riter; he ’ s an old-fashioned storyteller in the best ense of that word.As amply demonstrated in Our Story Begins, a brilliant collection of his work over the past 26 years, Wolff ’ s genius comes in grappling with big themes within a modest narrative framework.

In Wolff ’ s most searing work, his characters are beaten down by adulthood and all of its attendant disappointments, scratching and clawing for redemption that never comes.

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With the notable exception of the New York Times 's Michiko Kakutani, critics seem to agree wholeheartedly with Wiggins 's opinion that this extraordinary collection " is a volume that belongs on everybody 's shelf. " his is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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he less good ones stop cold at story ’ s end.

He ’ s quit good, as a collection proves, and one should be willing to stop short of the hanging but and leave it at that.

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his greatest hits collection has all of his best stories: " In the Garden of North American Martyrs, " " Hunters in the Snow " ( one of my all-time favs) " Flyboys, " " The Other Miller, " " Smorgasbord, " " he Night in Question, " and " Bullet in the Brain " ( another all-time great.) Reading Wolff is like taking a graduate level writing course on literary fiction.

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