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Twin Study: Stories by Stacey Richter
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Twin Study: Stories

by Stacey Richter

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Twin Study: Stories is a collection of short stories by Stacey Richter which has garnered attention for her interesting narrators. I agree that her narrators are not standard in any way, but a few of them cross the line between wacky and annoying. A few, like the one in “Habits and Habitat of the Southwestern Bad Boy,” I find unsympathetic and hard to listen to. This may have been by Richter’s design, but if I’m going to read a store told by someone a bit offensive, I need to feel some modicum of sympathy for them. This is not the case in a couple of Richter’s narrators. These narrators are in the minority, though, and many of them, such as the one in the title story “Twin Study,” are both funny and sympathetic. Richter’s stories shine when the reader can see through the quirky voice of the narrator into her pain.

One story that is of particular note is “Velvet,” the second story in the volume. Velvet is a dog on an adventure and the story is told by a third person narrator who remains close to Velvet’s point of view. The tone of the story performs a very fine balancing act between being a sappy animated movie about a dog and a cynical look at life through a dog’s eyes. The story is a realistic look at adventure and its consequences and Richter manages to make it a thoughtful story for adults without turning it into a negative caricature. This story in-and-of-itself, in its demonstration of Richter’s control of her craft, makes the volume one to pick up and enjoy.

(also posted on my blog at http:///www.timfredrick.com) ( )
  Tim.Fredrick | Dec 27, 2014 |
I picked up this collection after reading Richter's story in [book:Tin House: Fantastic Women]. Not every story here was "genre-bending," but that didn't matter. I loved the writing all the same, particularly the diaglogue. I read it, cover to cover, in a week--which is lightspeed for me (when I'm not reading flash fiction). This collection gets a five, though, because the connecting thread between the stories was so clear: Women on the cusp of transition, some opting to change direction while others don't; where either choice makes some happy, and others not so much. ( )
  donp | Nov 17, 2008 |
For those of you keeping track of the next generation of great American short story writers, you will be glad to know that Stacey Richter's new collection is just as crazy and perfect as her last one. Artful, seriously funny, tender, and totally human -- if Raymond Carver was a teenage girl in the 80s listening to heavy metal and making out in the backseat of a car parked outside a cafe in San Jose with a teenage Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo and some of their saliva dripped down into the upholstery and the DNA mixed together and some sort of new clone was animated from it -- this is what Stacey Richter is like. But better. -Steve
1 vote skylightbooks | Feb 5, 2008 |
Stacey Richter is a Tusconan, former Weekly columnist and Pushcart Prize-winning author. Her stories are smart, witty and cool. My fave here is “Velvet,” an insightful, epic tale full of danger masquerading as a modest, straight-forward biography of a family mutt.

Reviewed by: John
  RavenousReaders | Jun 24, 2007 |
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Neanderthals, a bong-sucking Bat Boy and a long-suffering woman raising a clone of herself are the primary characters in this off-beat and edgy collection of stories.

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