The Struggle For Happiness by Ruthann Robson

cover of the book The Struggle For HappinessThe Struggle For Happiness by Ruthann Robson
Genre: Fiction; Short Story Collection (Single Author)
Copyright Year: 2000
Published: 2000
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Format: Hardcover
Type: Electronic Format Available
No. of Pages: 240
No. In Series:
ISBN: 312252196
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A new book by Ruthann Robson is always a cause for celebration. This latest offering is a collection of eight thoughtful, loosely linked stories, many drawing on Robson’s experiences as a law professor and theorist. In ‘Black Squirrels, ‘ for instance, a disabled and displaced college professor plots ways to undermine the development of a shopping mall down the street from her rural home. The two best stories here are the deceptively simple ‘Review, ‘ in which an overly zealous young writer submits her first book review–a savage critique of a new novel by an established writer–and learns with horror that the novelist has killed herself soon after reading it, and ‘Death of the Subject, ‘ in which a psychic tries to help her cop girlfriend unravel a local crime (the title is a nod to postmodern theory that only makes sense in the last line of the story, like the kick in a Bloody Mary). The linking of stories in The Struggle for Happiness is superficial and perhaps unnecessary; the one truly compelling open-ended question (‘Where Is Madame Karmakov? ‘) is never answered, although we are teasingly offered a different Madame in a later story. Read these pieces in any order, and keep your eye on Madame. –Regina Marler
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