Pieces for the Left Hand

December 5, 2007 at 8:12 am (read)

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I first read eight stories from Pieces for the Left Hand, by J. Robert Lennon, a couple of years ago when they appeared in Best American Short Stories 2005. They blew me away. I had never read anything so short–each story is really an anecdote, one or two pages, with no dialogue–that contained so many sly twists in such a matter-of-fact telling.

Since the full book, of 100 anecdotes, was only published in the UK, and since I’m lazy and cheap, I never bought it. Then, a friend gave me the book for my birthday last week and I finished it in two days.

The stories are written as if they’re about people the narrator knows from life in his small town: “my friend who moved to the city,” “A local novelist,” “a professor at the university.” Although the stories don’t interconnect, they’re cohesive stylistically.

If you can get your hands on this book, do it. And then share it.

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