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Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi
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Hotel of the Saints (2001)

by Ursula Hegi

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222685,505 (3.6)7
The bestselling and acclaimed author of "Stones from the River" and "The Vision of Emma Blau" renews her reputation as an extraordinary writer of short stories in this first collection in more than a decade. With her passion for storytelling and her elegant prose, Ursula Hegi balances us on that magical border where laughter and sorrow become one. She knows the language of pleasure, the language of grace, the language of grief. A writer of great insight and imagination, Hegi manifests her bold range of vision as she enters the perspectives of lovers and loners, eccentrics and artists, children and parents: a young man waits in a hospital room with his father, who has received the heart of a twenty-seven-year-old woman; a musician tries to protect her daughter from loving a blind man; a seminary student yearns for the certainty of faith that belonged to him as a boy; a woman transcends her embarrassment for her first love, who has tripled in size; a feud between two brothers contaminates and redeems their hometown. Ursula Hegi's bicultural background enriches these eleven vibrant and luminous stories that are set in German… (more)

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I have previously read 3 novels by Hegi but it has been over 20 years since I read anything by her. I found this small book of short stories in my pile of books to read so I picked it up. It was excellent and reminded me what a wonderful writer Hegi is. She was born in Germany after the war and she brings her background into many of the stories. She deals with a wide range of subjects. Like most good short story writers, she leaves the story endings with an element of "to be continued". If you have never read her, then this is a good introduction to one of our better writers. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Mar 3, 2020 |
Judged a book by it's cover, and it worked out very well. Looking forward to reading more of her work. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
$1 at a $1 store! Brand New. Short stories from Ursula Hegi look refreshing and I like the titles of the stories.

From Moonwalkers -
"He smells of mouthwash and oddly, gladiolas, even though there are no gladiolas in his room. Just Roses. But those I can't smell. Funeral flowers. A scent from the future?
How to grieve when you don't know the language of grief?"
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Good collection of short stories. The last one, "Lower Crossing" was an emotional tale. ( )
  jules72653 | Jul 11, 2010 |
Good collection of short stories. Solid writing and interesting characters: she balances narratives too. Sometimes it is from a female perspective and sometimes a male, older and younger which is wonderful. ( )
  writergal85 | Oct 4, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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For my son, Adam
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From the first story Hotel of the Saints:

Lenny's mother, the starch queen, is baking for her brother's funeral; cinnamon cookies and blackberry pies, garlic bread and her own recipe of poppyseed strudel.
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With her passion for storytelling and her elegant prose, Ursula Hegi balances us on that magical border where laughter and sorrow become one. She knows the language of pleasure, the language of grace, the language of grief. A writer of great insight and imagination, Hegi manifesdts her bold range of vision as she enters the perspectives of lovers and loners, eccentrics and artitist, children and parents: a young man waits in a hospital room with his father, who has received the heart of a twenty-seven-year-old woman; a musician tries to protect her daughter from loving a blind man; a seminary student yearns for the certainty of faith that belonged to him as a boy; a woman transcends her embarrassment for her first love, who has tripled in size; a feud between two brothers contaminates and redeems their hometown.

Hegi's bicultural background enriches these eleven vibrant and luminous stories that are set in Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the US. From within this geographic diversity emerge the common themes as Hegi's characters take risks in searching out the unique place where faith thrives for each of them-a run-down hotel, the currents of Cabo San Lucas, an animal shelter, the embrace of an ex-convict.
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