We’re reading the same thing from the east coast to the west–reviewers at The New York Times and the LA Times are asking why they weren’t already familiar with Edith Pearlman, author of the new Binocular Vision. “It certainly isn’t the fault of her writing, which is intelligent, perceptive, funny and quite beautiful…” says Roxana Robinson of The New York Times. “In the world of literary fiction Pearlman is hardly unknown: she’s the author of three previous collections, Vaquita, Love Among the Greats and How to Fall; she has won several prizes; and her work has appeared repeatedly in ‘Best American Short Stories.’ So she should be known all over the place.”
“At the same time,” counters LA Times reviewer David L. Ulin, “had I been familiar with Pearlman for all those years, I would have been deprived of the great joy of discovering her, the thrill of coming upon a writer with an eye, and a command of language, so acute.”
And with a starred review from Publishers Weekly, we’re so thrilled to be distributing Pearlman’s latest publication, Binocular Vision, for the new literary book imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington: Lookout Books.
Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, the 21 vintage stories and 13 scintillating new ones in Pearlman’s masterpiece take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.
No matter the situation in which her characters find themselves— a lifetime of memories unearthed by an elderly couple’s decision to shoplift, the deathbed secret of a young girl’s forbidden forest tryst with the tsar, the danger that befalls a wealthy couple’s child in a European inn of misfits—Pearlman conveys their experience with wit and aplomb and a supple prose that reminds us, page by page, of the gifts our greatest verbal innovators can bestow.
Binocular Vision reveals a true American original, showing us, with her classic sensibility and lasting artistry, the cruelties, the longings, and the rituals that connect human beings across space and time.
The book is available in stores and online now, but if you can’t wait to get your hands on it, enjoy this excerpt from Lookout Books: