Her short fiction collection broke my "meh." streak with a breath of clarity. For that I feel quite grateful, and quite sated with literary nourishment for at least a day or two.
I've long held the short story as perhaps my favorite form. When well-wrought, each tale's impact offers a moment of quick, quiet transcendence. Meloy makes that happen every time.
Her stories are "small" and contemporary, focusing on one or two nuanced characters who face conflicting yet simultaneous emotions. Nary a misstep here, yet few of these stories offer neatly tidied outcomes: like life, only well-honed and compacted to offer high entertainment as well.
A telling contrast, my last book and this. Both writers strive to offer everyday living distilled to create a heightened experience of quotidian passions. But only Meloy succeeds for me.
Action reflection: It's tough to tease just one action from a collection of distinct tales. Luckily, however, offering gratitude to a stranger counts.
So I'll write to her, and put another of her books in my 2011 queue.
p.s. For the official blurb on the book, click it, or go to Maile Meloy's web page.