Friday, February 7, 2014

A Permanent Member of the family

Economy. I’ve waited more than a decade for another short story collection from Russell Banks. At last, twelve stories, including four previously unpublished ones, have been assembled into A Permanent Member of the Family. One could teach for a semester using each of these stories as an example of the best contemporary representations of this genre. Banks uses just a few sentences to flesh out complex characters, and he sets them in situations that reflect the challenges of our contemporary lives. Many are struggling in relationships and facing financial difficulties. Always, there’s a moral component that is key to the story. I’m hard pressed to name a favorite from this dozen. I found each story worthy of a second or third reading, bringing pleasure and new insight each time. Readers who appreciate fine literary writing, especially those who like short stories, will find a lot to enjoy in this collection. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase A Permanent Member of the Family from

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