To Be a Man: Stories
In this dazzling collection of short fiction, the National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestselling author of The History of Love--"one of America's most important novelists and an international literary sensation" (New York Times)--explores what it means to be in a couple, and to be a man and a woman in that perplexing relationship and beyond.
In one of her strongest works of fiction yet, Nicole Krauss plunges fearlessly into the struggle to understand what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman, and the arising tensions that have existed from the very beginning of time. Set in our contemporary moment, and moving across the globe from Switzerland, Japan, and New York City to Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and South America, the stories in To Be a Man feature male characters as fathers, lovers, friends, children, seducers, and even a lost husband who may never have been a husband at all.
The way these stories mirror one other and resonate is beautiful, with a balance so finely tuned that the book almost feels like a novel. Echoes ring through stages of life: aging parents and new-born babies; young women's coming of age and the newfound, somewhat bewildering sexual power that accompanies it; generational gaps and unexpected deliveries of strange new leases on life; mystery and wonder at a life lived or a future waiting to unfold. To Be a Man illuminates with a fierce, unwavering light the forces driving human existence: sex, power, violence, passion, self-discovery, growing older. Profound, poignant, and brilliant, Krauss's stories are at once startling and deeply moving, but always revealing of all-too-human weakness and strength.
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About the Author
Nicole Krauss is the internationally bestselling author of four novels, most recently the acclaimed Forest Dark; the New York Times bestseller and winner of the Saroyan Prize for International Literature, The History of Love; Great House, a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award; and Man Walks Into a Room, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. In 2007 she was selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists, and in 2010 she was chosen for the New Yorker's 'Twenty Under Forty' list. Her fiction has been published in the New Yorker, Harper's, The New Republic, Esquire and Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Nicole Krauss lives in New York.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"From a contemporary master, an astounding collection of ten globetrotting stories, each one a powerful dissection of the thorny connections between men and women...Each story is masterfully crafted and deeply contemplative, barreling toward a shimmering, inevitable conclusion, proving once again that Krauss is one of our most formidable talents in fiction." --Esquire
In a first collection, National Book Award finalist Krauss uses superbly controlled language to investigate how we become who we are...Small gems, large ideas, highly recommended. --Library Journal (starred review)
"This triumphant first collection from Nicole Krauss crisscrosses the globe in 10 ambitious stories written over two decades that wrestle with sexuality, desire, and human connection.... This is a spectacular book."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"What defines a life well-lived?...Krauss winningly explores these and other weighty issues in a home run of a short story collection...Above all, these stories pay homage to strong women. As female characters mature, they find resilience in the power they wield despite societal constraints."--Booklist (starred review)
TO BE A MAN offers the pleasure of being in the company of Krauss' surprising, challenging mind, tugged along by an imagination that's ever curious about the limits and possibilities of fiction, of time, and of love...A collection of wonders.--San Francisco Chronicle
"Short stories that ask big questions...A powerful new collection from one of America's great writers." --Financial Times
"A sustained shot of brilliance...By turns tight and exuberant, disciplined and expansive, the collection shimmers with insight and moments of perfectly realized beauty. It provokes unabashed laughter, in inspires profound thinking, it delights and disturbs in equal measure... Joy and woe are woven fine in this extraordinary book." --Boston Globe