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We So Seldom Look on Love

by Barbara Gowdy

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226685,339 (3.73)7
NOW IN PAPERBACK, this masterfully crafted story collection by the author of the internationally best-selling novel "Mister Sandman" is a haunting book that is certain to both disturb and entertain. With a particular focus on obsession and the abnormal, "We So Seldom Look On Love" explores life at its quirky extremes, pushing past limits of convention into lives that are fantastic and heartbreakingly real. Whether writing about the dilemma of a two-headed man who attempts to expunge his own pain, the shock of a woman who discovers she has married a transsexual, the erotic delusions of a woman who repeatedly exposes her body to an unknown voyeur, or the bizarre predilections of a female necrophile (a story made into the acclaimed motion picture, "Kissed"), Gowdy convinces us with incisive detail, only to disarm us with black humor. In reviewing the book in the Boston Globe, the novelist Carol Shields wrote, "Barbara Gowdy invites herself, and us, into taboo territory where love and disgust mingle freely. Nothing seems to hold back the narrative flow, not propriety, not politics, not even that ambiguity we once called good taste . . . Gowdy writes about the macabre, but she writes like an angel."… (more)



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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
As always, Barbara Gowdy's characters are a tad freakish and mostly likeable. However, some of these stories were just too weird for me. cannot recommend it. ( )
  hemlokgang | Aug 20, 2017 |
Excelente!!! Hace tiempo que no leía unas historias cortas tan originales , profundas y precisas .

"FLesh of my Flesh" me tuvo leyendo entre lágrimas . Tanta ternura ! (Entre tanta perturbación de la mayoría de los demás cuentos) ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
Very quirky and a little disturbing. ( )
  zguba | Apr 25, 2014 |
This anthology was my first experience with Barbara Gowdy, some years ago. She addresses the fringe of human nature, and writes with the exacting sensation of biting into aluminum foil. "We So Seldom Look on Love" is a study in identity and the reflection of self in another. Also read: "Mr. Sandman." ( )
  katelattuca | Feb 23, 2011 |
I loved this collection. The short stories here can be disturbing and taboo, but where Gowdy excels is in crafting her characters, who are at once strange and familiar. There is not a single character in this collection that I did not empathize with.

The writing is fantastic. Gowdy captures the mindset of her characters perfectly in the prose.

I tore through this collection, and would recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid of reading shocking stories that touch your heart in unexpected ways. ( )
1 vote ellialic | May 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
What makes [Gowdy] so gifted is her ability to come across as a sympathetic chronicler for her often bizarre characters—not by preaching the virtues of sympathy, but drawing out, often with uncanny timing and black humour, the sympathy of the misfit.
added by GYKM | editMaclean's
These are unsettling and profoundly moving stories to be read, and reread, and then to be dreamt upon. Remarkable and uplifting.
added by GYKM | editThe Globe and Mail
She writes like an angel.
added by GYKM | editThe Boston Globe, Carol Shields
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it is better
S love them E
and we
so seldom look on love
that it seems heinous

―"Ode on Necrophilia," Frank O'Hara
To my sister, Beth
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In the apartment building across from theirs, six storeys above the ground, a cat walks along a balcony railing.
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