Criminals: Love Stories
Valerie Trueblood (Author)
January 12, 2016
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About the Author
Valerie Trueblood is the author of the novel Seven Loves, and the short story collections Search Party, Marry or Burn, and Criminals. She's been a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, a finalist for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and a recipient of the B&N Discover Award. She lives in Seattle.
[Trueblood's stories] become love stories only in acts of redemption and release, with a complexity that reveals Trueblood's keen eye for the nuances of connection... Trueblood is an elegant writer, and she wrings a nobility out of even the most troubled characters. Her work is an exercise in literary restraint and extreme empathy, her sentences sharp enough to cut but warm enough to melt. --New York Times Book Review [Criminals] resembles the kind of fiction that regularly garners critical accolades and finds its way onto prize shortlists... Criminals emphasizes style and subtlety. --The Globe & Mail If the course of love never runs smooth, per Shakespeare's reading, Seattle author Trueblood's take on the same topic features speeds bumps so large that they can take out your tansmission. It's not that all the stories here deal with romantic impulse -- love has many guises -- but she's at her best trying to explain our most inexplicable attractions... --Seattle Times Intense, complicated short stories about intense, complicated people... Each story in Trueblood's (Search Party, 2013, etc.) collection feels like a condensed version of a novel, dense with incident and crowded with fully realized characters. They unfold quickly, with frequent flashbacks and sidelong observations so insightful they are almost distracting. You have to read them carefully, or read them twice, to get the full effect... Like so many of Trueblood's characters, she rolls with the punches, which turns out to be a true form of grace. A seasoned, deeply knowing writer with riches to share.--Kirkus Perhaps the best story is 'Aiken, ' in which a woman, Bridget, visits her aging parents, who have recently taken in a homeless man as a tenant. As Bridget tries to determine this new resident's agenda, Trueblood deftly examines a family's idiosyncrasies and the difficulties associated with letting one's guard down to accept happiness. --Publishers Weekly Trueblood's rich 15 tales, varied in length, offer both wide-ranging observation and detailed precision, particularly when it comes to characters' inner negotiations, struggles, and regrets. --Booklist Criminals is a passionate reminder of how love can make us capable of anything. Valerie Trueblood is writing among the most exquisite stories in the English language today, full of candor, sly wit, and emotional range. She is ever mindful of the ways in which we willfully confuse pleasure and torment, recklessness and ardent devotion--and why we ultimately turn to stories for consolation. --Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue I know nothing quite like Valerie Trueblood's stories, with their quick, sharp movement to the most ruthless truths. --Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising