A superb collection of short fiction--her first in thirty years and spanning many geographies--from the critically acclaimed author of Monkeys, Evening, and Thirty Girls. A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK.
A writer dryly catalogs the myriad reasons she cannot write; an artist bicycles through a protest encampment in lower Manhattan and ruminates on an elusive lover; an old woman on her deathbed calls out for a man other than her husband; a hapless fifteen-year-old boy finds himself in sexual peril; two young people in the 1990s fall helplessly in love, then bicker just as helplessly, tortured by jealousy and mistrust. In each of these stories Minot explores the difficult geometry of human relations, the lure of love and physical desire, and the lifelong quest for meaning and connection. Her characters are all searching for truth, in feeling and in action, as societal norms are upended and justice and coherence flounder. Urgent and immediate, precisely observed, deeply felt, and gorgeously written, the stories in Why I Don't Write showcase an author at the top of her form.
About the Author
Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter. Her first novel, Monkeys, was published in a dozen countries and won the Prix Femina Étranger in France. Her novel Evening was a worldwide bestseller and became a major motion picture. She teaches at Stony Brook University in New York City and conducts a private writing workshop.
“A winning blend of emotional intensity, capricious playfulness and keen-eyed observation.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A winning blend of emotional intensity, capricious playfulness and keen-eyed observation.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune “Tender, precise, emotional, insightful and funny.” —Julianne Moore
“Why I Don’t Write: And Other Stories, [Minot’s] first in some thirty years, showcases her versatility. Its ten stories range from mainstream to experimental, with sundry stops in between. . . . She has an unmistakable knack for distilling things, and gorgeously, at that. . . . Taken as a whole, Minot’s collection is, by turns, spiky and intimate, adventurous, stark and lyrical. . . . Few story collections shine as brightly.” —Portland Press Herald (Maine)
“Why I Don’t Write is a quiet collection, but it is not a halting or timid one. Minot still has a poet’s instinct for the surprising volta, the striking image, the bracing final line. After thirty years away from the short story, it is good to have her back, clear-eyed and fearless as ever, whispering difficult truths and ambiguities that a less assured writer would feel compelled to shout.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Susan Minot is an author well reputed for the purity and terseness of her prose exhibited over a career of more than three decades. Her latest book, a collection of ten stories is no exception. . . . Minot excels in description of people and places. . . . [A] rewarding read.” —New York Journal of Books
“[Why I Don’t Write] is strikingly visual. Here, the light is often white, people’s heads are bullet-shaped, and the littered car of a scoundrel professor is a fish tank. At their best, the sentences are frozen frames peering at the reader, as the reader peers back, peeling new information with each read. . . . [These stories] spill with luscious sentences that scintillate.” —Chicago Review of Books
“[Minot’s] gift is for illuminating revelatory moments in characters’ lives. . . . Throughout, Minot is keenly aware of how men hurt women—as well as how women sabotage themselves.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Minot . . . finds hints of violence, grief, and trauma in her characters’ interior lives in this precise, shimmering collection.” —Publishers Weekly