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The Collected Short Fiction of Marianne Hauser

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Marianne Hauser's short fiction is a literary documentary of exile, the other-worldly travelogue of an imagination permanently displaced. These accounts of expatriates and lost children situate us in foreign realms, between the titillating intimacies of strangers and looming brutalities we can never quite see. In Hauser's fiction, expatriation is not a historical accident Marianne Hauser's short fiction is a literary documentary of exile, the other-worldly travelogue of an imagination permanently displaced. These accounts of expatriates and lost children situate us in foreign realms, between the titillating intimacies of strangers and looming brutalities we can never quite see. In Hauser's fiction, expatriation is not a historical accident but a condition as essential to humans as breathing or speech. A young boy's suicide in "Heartlands Beat" or a child's vision of her piano teacher's corpse invoke the permanent dislocations that adulthood can never overcome. It is as though birth were, for Hauser, the great forced migration, an incomprehensible banishment from some homeland every child can remember. Her characters gaze in bewilderment at the crude and violent landscape that, through preposterous twistings, they have come to occupy, wondering how they could have ended so incongruously, unable to imagine any dwelling but here. Beautiful fabrications from the writer about whom Anais Nin remarked, "She deftly weaves the strange, the unknown, the unfamiliar, the perverse, into a fabric of human fallibilities that draws drama and farce close to us."


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Marianne Hauser's short fiction is a literary documentary of exile, the other-worldly travelogue of an imagination permanently displaced. These accounts of expatriates and lost children situate us in foreign realms, between the titillating intimacies of strangers and looming brutalities we can never quite see. In Hauser's fiction, expatriation is not a historical accident Marianne Hauser's short fiction is a literary documentary of exile, the other-worldly travelogue of an imagination permanently displaced. These accounts of expatriates and lost children situate us in foreign realms, between the titillating intimacies of strangers and looming brutalities we can never quite see. In Hauser's fiction, expatriation is not a historical accident but a condition as essential to humans as breathing or speech. A young boy's suicide in "Heartlands Beat" or a child's vision of her piano teacher's corpse invoke the permanent dislocations that adulthood can never overcome. It is as though birth were, for Hauser, the great forced migration, an incomprehensible banishment from some homeland every child can remember. Her characters gaze in bewilderment at the crude and violent landscape that, through preposterous twistings, they have come to occupy, wondering how they could have ended so incongruously, unable to imagine any dwelling but here. Beautiful fabrications from the writer about whom Anais Nin remarked, "She deftly weaves the strange, the unknown, the unfamiliar, the perverse, into a fabric of human fallibilities that draws drama and farce close to us."

31 review for The Collected Short Fiction of Marianne Hauser

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Frankel

    This book collects most of Marianne Hauser's short stories, a form a she excelled in. It has marvelously funny introduction, written by the author at age 93. It includes nearly all of her 1963 book, A Lesson in Music, losing only "One Last Drop for Poor Abu" and "The Mouse", excisions that I don't understand, given that The Mouse was published in the Best American Short Stories of 1950, and One Last Drop was the story that initiated her later style. The stories chart her progression as a writer, This book collects most of Marianne Hauser's short stories, a form a she excelled in. It has marvelously funny introduction, written by the author at age 93. It includes nearly all of her 1963 book, A Lesson in Music, losing only "One Last Drop for Poor Abu" and "The Mouse", excisions that I don't understand, given that The Mouse was published in the Best American Short Stories of 1950, and One Last Drop was the story that initiated her later style. The stories chart her progression as a writer, from her early, arty, European work of the 40s and 50s, to her late work of the 80s and 90s, which is explosively satirical, funny, and profane. Hauser always had a vivid sense of physical existence, lived in a spiritual dimension, and her clairvoyant prose is on every page, as are her arch, and earthy observations. Stand out early stories like A Lesson in Music, about a mean young girl's experiences with her elderly piano teacher, and Allons Enfants, about the death of her sister at age 17 of meningitis are here as well as stories like Heaven 2, about the sale of an avant-garde painting, or The Seersucker Suit, with its infamous talking dog. Hauser's work always moves through planes of hallucination, and the real world is often more bizarre than the dreams of her characters. By juxtaposing early and late work Hauser draw attention to the continuities of her thought and prose. Unlike her novels, these stories often have female protagonists. It is absolutely worth reading for the introduction alone. I defy anyone to read that introduction and not proceed to the work, and from there, to her novels. A great collection of a great writer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bart

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bebop2

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  6. 4 out of 5

    abcdefg

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Baughman

  8. 5 out of 5

    Univofalpress

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kai

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carmeleta Munroe

  12. 5 out of 5

    S̶e̶a̶n̶

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ross Scott-Buccleuch

  14. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Grieshober

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josue

  17. 5 out of 5

    Israel Jaime

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    Adryan Glasgow

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hamit özonur

  20. 4 out of 5

    Doug O'Connor

  21. 4 out of 5

    Graham

  22. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucian Lupescu

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jim Phillips

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tam G

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  31. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

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