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The Resource Spectacle : stories, Susan Steinberg

Spectacle : stories, Susan Steinberg

Label
Spectacle : stories
Title
Spectacle
Title remainder
stories
Statement of responsibility
Susan Steinberg
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • In a voice that is both edgy and sardonic, and with a style that is spare and often unconventional, Steinberg links the experiences of young women contending with age-old problems of love, abandonment, grief, and destruction. “Superstar” rocks the collection’s opening in a tale of unrequited love gone wrong, while in the closing “Universal,” she demonstrates the consequences of confusing lust for love. In between, Steinberg tackles the death of an unloved parent in “Cowboys” and “Cowgirl” and presents the degradation of domestic abuse in “Underthings.” None of these subjects make for easy reading, but in Steinberg’s agile hands, the potent telling is more than worth the potential discomfort. Steinberg’s heroines are a fiercely introspective and reflexively bold lot, and their personal dilemmas are vibrantly communicated through narratives delivered with both staccato briskness and stream-of-consciousness languor. As they stagger helplessly through gritty urban landscapes or dance exuberantly past stealthy emotional minefields, Steinberg’s women offer an idiosyncratic yet thoroughly recognizable take on contemporary relationships. -- Haggas, Carol (Reviewed 11-15-2012) (Booklist, vol 109, number 6, p21)
  • /* Starred Review */ Steinberg’s newest collection defies category. The book could be called “linked short stories,” but unlike other collections that attempt this, the whole here is much, much greater than the sum of its parts. Narrated entirely by women whose voices merge, divide, recur, and dissipate into one another, it feels like a solid statement, novelistic in scope and ambition. Steinberg (Hydroplane) is a maestro of stylistic innovation, conducting orbits of narrative and motif, coaxing meaning and music from each line. In the opener, “Superstar,” a woman steals a car stereo from a man who is the center of her conflicted infatuation. There are echoes of this voice in the Pushcart-winning “Cowboys” in a woman’s blunt thought processes as she considers taking her father off life support. In both stories, sentences most often stand alone as paragraphs, creating an urgent and fiercely propelled narrative. In “Underthings” a woman rationalizes her boyfriend’s physical abuse into an accident, while in “Signifier” the narrator observes herself sleeping with her lover’s friend: “I wish I could give you a climactic moment. But there is no climactic moment in this. There is no such thing here as climactic. In a story about a hike, there is only circling around and around.” What one realizes as the collection continues is, despite the stylistic differences between stories, at the center of each is the same unnamed woman, constantly set against male counterparts: abusive or aloof boyfriends, a controlling and damaged father, a hostile brother. Steinberg subverts the feminist critique of women identified only by their male-counterparts and delivers a multifaceted female protagonist who whispers her secrets, shouts her confusions, and rends her relationships to find some meaning in the wreckage. With its literary inventions and sharp storytelling, this is a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed October 29, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 44, p)
  • An unconventional approach to storytelling makes this third compilation of short tales by Steinberg (Hydroplane, 2006, etc.) difficult to navigate. Utilizing repetitive phrasing and a free-flow writing style paired with violent undertones and psychosexual themes, these 12 interconnected pieces explore a multitude of negative sensations that are emotionally draining. How we cope with guilt, anger and loss or commit actions that damage our own lives and relationships are some of the recurring themes that bind these tales together. In one story, a woman goes hiking with a man she likes, and they are accompanied by his friend, a stranger whom she doesn't like, and she ends up having a sexual encounter with the stranger. Steinberg challenges our ideals of femininity and masculinity as she writes about a young woman, seething with anger and jealousy, who steals her boyfriend's car radio and smashes it, only to discover that the act of revenge doesn't have the satisfying effect she anticipated. When an acquaintance dies in an explosive plane crash in the title story, the narrator struggles with her own complex feelings, including resentment toward her father, who wouldn't allow her to study abroad. And in "Cowboys," a woman deals with the decision to take her father off life support but doesn't want to bear the responsibility, and thus the guilt, of making the decision on her own. Terse and angry, introspective and raw, Steinberg's experimental writing style will not appeal to everyone. Her focus is on the emotion rather than on the character or action; the author hits the reader head-on with candid language and uncomfortable themes, and she does this well. Modern fiction aficionados will most likely embrace Steinberg's technique and vision; lovers of traditional short stories may find her writing difficult to follow.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10166074
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1966-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Steinberg, Susan
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3619.T4762
LC item number
A6 2013
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Short stories, American
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
stories
Label
Spectacle : stories, Susan Steinberg
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
137 pages
Isbn
9781555976316
Lccn
2012949113
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) BRD2012949113
  • (OCoLC)794367473
Label
Spectacle : stories, Susan Steinberg
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
137 pages
Isbn
9781555976316
Lccn
2012949113
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) BRD2012949113
  • (OCoLC)794367473

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