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Maggie Brown & Others

Maggie Brown & Others

Stories

National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and “master of his form” (New York Times) Peter Orner returns with a powerful new collection.

Maggie Brown & Others is a stunning and deeply moving array of shorter-than-short stories, spanning from California to Chicago and from Massachusetts to southern Africa, following a cast of characters coming to terms with their situations and struggling with the weight of memory. A preteen grieves over his involvement in the death of his two-year-old sister; an unknown and dying beat poet reflects on his life and career; a young girl helplessly watches a deer sink into a quickly rising swamp, frozen and already aware of the ways in which the moment will etch into her mind forever. Several of Orner’s characters grapple with crises of identity and intense loneliness, finding relief in questionable, sometimes horrifying ways.

Peter Orner brilliantly captures the human experience in these singular and yet universally felt vignettes. Maggie Brown & Others is a composite portrait of what it’s like to be a person in the world, and the heaviness and lightness that makes up a life.



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Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Short Stories (single Author)

On Sale: July 2nd 2019

Price: $27 / $35 (CAD)

Page Count: 336

ISBN-13: 9780316516112

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

Praise for MAGGIE BROWN & OTHERS
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"No one captures the inner lives of vanished places and people like Peter Orner. Radiant, funny, full of wisdom and heart, his vibrant portraits pulse with authentic energy and are as perfectly tuned to his characters' idiosyncratic speech as those of Grace Paley."—Andrea Barrett, National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever and The Air We Breathe
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"To read Peter Orner's stories is to live simultaneously in so many lives: the reader's memories intertwine with the characters', the characters' dreams resurface in the reader's. People we have loved and lost, people we have encountered and missed -- they wait for us to rediscover them in Orner's stories. This book, exquisitely written, is as necessary and expansive as life."—Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
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Praise for Peter Orner:
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"Orner's canny snippets build with subtle accumulative power to create books autobiographical in feel, if not necessarily in fact . . . In each of his books, Orner's crystalline sentences and his ability to pay close and sustained attention to small moments transform the ordinary elements of each story into an even more astonishing whole . . . He can nail interior monologue in a way that recalls Grace Paley . . . His truest gift is the ability to take elements we've seen before-the historical characters, the suburbs, the tight-knit Jewish families, Chicago-and, by the force of his fascination, make them thrillingly strange. This talent never fails Orner . . . Every story in Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge is excellent, incisive, and moving."—Lauren Groff, New York Times Book Review
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"Quirky, lyrical, comical, full-blown. . .A gifted short story writer gives us his first book-length work of fiction with The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and does so with flair and panache."—Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune
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"Orner is still intent on revealing the quiet terror and melancholy of everyday life in America. . .He is one of our most empathetic writers today. . .His fiction has an intimate feel: we are in conversation with otherwise unknown and forgotten lives. This is what makes Orner's characters live and breathe beyond the page...This is how his clean, simple sentences succeed far beyond the limited space he gives them. . .Let us be thankful for Peter Orner."—Nicholas Miriello, Los Angeles Review of Books
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"The stories in Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge have sweated away the fat of plotting and scene setting without weakening the vital organs of emotional resonance...Mr. Orner packs remarkable pathos into his condensed dramas."—Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
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"Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge is a magnificent and moving mosaic of remarkable narratives. . . Orner's poetic attention to language and ability to compress, to linger astutely and affectingly in the essential moment rather than become overly and unnecessarily consumed by the 'what next?' questions and concerns of plotting, are perhaps the greatest strengths of his writing. . .The lengths of his stories seem irrelevant (and, for that matter, perfect) when one considers the power and weight of these essential glimpses."—Skip Horack, San Francisco Chronicle
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"Radiant...There's a curiosity in Orner's work, the need to seek out stories and lives well beyond his own sphere, and there's a necessary humility as he does this seeking."—Peter Mountford, Tin House
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"You wouldn't think someone could haunt you with a life that spans just a few lines, but Peter Orner can. He can tell you an entire ghost story, and you won't stop believing it until the next welcome specter chases it away."—Mia Lipman, San Francisco Journal of Books
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"The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo is a book unlike any I have ever read, a miraculous feat of empathy that manages to unearth the infinite possibilities of the human heart. . .Orner is incapable of dishonoring his characters. He treats all of them -- even the minor figures -- with a fierce humanity."—Steve Almond, Boston Globe
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"There's a startling intimacy in every story. . .Orner's range of subjects and characters is as impressive as the depths of his sympathies. . .Peter Orner is that rare find: a young writer who can inhabit any character, traverse any landscape, and yet never stray from the sound of the human heart."—Judy Doenges, Washington Post Book World
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"Required reading. . .A book of enviable brilliance. . .Orner has a poet's generous soul and he somehow frees us from our skins, from our genders, our wars, our hunger. . .Heady, exultant stuff."—Alexandra Fuller, Salon
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"Transcendent...The sweeping power of storytelling lies at the heart of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, an insightful and revelatory novel told with authority, historical practicality, and a palpable sense of wonder."—Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
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"It's a testament to Orner's empathy as a writer that such varied narratives ring so true."—Thomas Gebremedhin, Vogue.com
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