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Five Tuesdays in Winter (2021)

by Lily King

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3462375,150 (3.97)40
Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:

Award-winning Lily King's first-ever collection of exceptional and innovative short stories

With Writers & Lovers and Euphoria, Lily King's books catapulted onto bestseller and best-of-the-year lists across the country and established her as one of our most "brilliant" (New York Times), "wildly talented" (Chicago Tribune), and beloved authors in contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time ever, King collects ten of her finest short stories??half published in leading literary magazines and half brand new??opening fresh realms of discovery for avid and new readers alike.

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence, and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence at the hands of her employer's son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love.

Lily King's literary mastery, her spare and stunning prose, and her gift for creating lasting and treasured characters is on full display in this curated selection of short fiction. Five Tuesdays in Winter showcases an exhilarating new form for this extraordinarily gifted author writing at the height of her career… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This is a quintessential winter read: A soft waiting, a quiet longing, with each page falls pensive moments like silent flakes floating down, melting into the paper. Within this collection of ten stories, there are swift bursts of elation that fall away just as quickly leaving sadness and a longing for more. While each story is engaging and each seems steeped in themes of love and desire—among others—my favorites are these:

When I’m Dordogne is about a desire to belong and finding that thing (or person) that answers this question: “‘What makes your heart sing” (74)?: “I don't know how other people do it, not stay with the girl whose ankle socks made your stomach flip at age fourteen, whose wet hair smells like your past—the girl who was with you the very moment you were introduced to happiness” (95).

Hotel Seattle is about unfulfilled desires: While completely different tones, this story reminds me of a scene from SATC with Samantha and Richard and Smith: “When you grow up Catholic (mass, CCD, youth camps) with six brothers, a megalomaniac father, and a mother who is on her knees in prayer whenever you try to find her, it’s hard to scrape through all the voodoo layers to recognize you’re gay” (151).

The Man at the Door is so beautifully complicated and about the beautiful, terrible dichotomy of desire: “And with them came a feeling, a presentiment, that she would eventually destroy this good life, for wasn’t her need to write like her parents’ need to drink? A form of escape, a way to detach? And, like the alcohol, it weakened and often angered her, left her yearning for the kind of rare and extraordinary ability she’d never have” (222).
( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
I was initially skeptical of this collection because I had always thought that Lily King shined when she slowly crafted an atmosphere, but after reading this I came to the realization that she is a master at portraying vulnerabilities in the most unpretentious fashion. From a 14 year old girl navigating the complexities of adolescence to a middle-aged who struggles with his sexuality, the range in this book is broad and varied yet still so full of intimacy.

I didn't care so much for the last story, "The Man at the Door," but I loved "When in the Dordogne" so much that I think it made up for it. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
i am a sucker for short stories and i am in such a short story kick right now. Lily King can take all my money because i will buy any book of hers now. i did not want these stories to end. great stories *chef's kiss* brilliant! Lily King is very skillful and knows how to craft beautiful stories. she writes about relationships and creates these complex characters in very little words. i very much admire authors who can create well-built characters in such short stories. King is a master at touching people's hearts with her words and she inspires her readers to ponder. ( )
  Ellen-Simon | Apr 6, 2023 |
The ten stories published in this collection range from coming-of-age pieces to middle-aged angst vignettes. They cover a wide range of topics, but the stories share a similar emotionally tepid space, even when discussing rape or murder. I suspect that I am the wrong reader for this book and perhaps this author. ( )
  labfs39 | Feb 24, 2023 |
This is an interesting collection of short stories, most of them focused on love, loss, desire, and a longing for reconciliation. A man sits at the hospital bedside of his comatose granddaughter, willing her to awake while memories rush in. A new mother and would-be writer receives a frustrating visit from an editor who has come to tear apart her book--which hasn't been submitted anywhere. Two college roommates who have grown apart following one's revelation that he is gay meet again in middle age. The world opens up for a 14-year old boy when his parents hire two college boys to housesit while they are away. A French mother tries to reconnect with her teenaged daughters by telling hem a ghost story during a road trip. These stories and more are engaging, their very believable characters examined in depth. King's writing is clear and crisp, and the emotional density of her stories is subtly woven as they progress. This is her first short story collection, following the publication of several successful novels. ( )
  Cariola | Sep 5, 2022 |
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For my brother, Apple, with all my love
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The summer I was fourteen, a few months after my mother had moved us out of my father's house, I was offered a job on Widows' Point babysitting this old lady's grandchildren who had come to visit for two weeks.
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Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:

Award-winning Lily King's first-ever collection of exceptional and innovative short stories

With Writers & Lovers and Euphoria, Lily King's books catapulted onto bestseller and best-of-the-year lists across the country and established her as one of our most "brilliant" (New York Times), "wildly talented" (Chicago Tribune), and beloved authors in contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time ever, King collects ten of her finest short stories??half published in leading literary magazines and half brand new??opening fresh realms of discovery for avid and new readers alike.

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence, and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence at the hands of her employer's son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love.

Lily King's literary mastery, her spare and stunning prose, and her gift for creating lasting and treasured characters is on full display in this curated selection of short fiction. Five Tuesdays in Winter showcases an exhilarating new form for this extraordinarily gifted author writing at the height of her career

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