Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories

By Tobias Wolff
Read by Anthony Heald

13.10 Hours 03/25/2008 unabridged
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Tobias Wolff’s first two books, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs and Back in the World, proved how the short story can “provoke our amazed appreciation” (New York Times Book Review). In the years since, he’s written a third collection, The Night in Question, as well as several other astounding works. Now he returns with fresh revelations—about biding one’s time, experiencing first love, or burying one’s mother—that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who’s picked his pocket. In this potent new collection, as with his earlier work, Wolff displays his mastery over a quarter century, once again proving himself “a writer of the highest order: part storyteller, part philosopher, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve” (Los Angeles Times).

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2008 Story Prize for Short Fiction

A 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book

Tobias Wolff’s first two books, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs and Back in the World, proved how the short story can “provoke our amazed appreciation” (New York Times Book Review). In the years since, he’s written a third collection, The Night in Question, as well as several other astounding works. Now he returns with fresh revelations—about biding one’s time, experiencing first love, or burying one’s mother—that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who’s picked his pocket. In this potent new collection, as with his earlier work, Wolff displays his mastery over a quarter century, once again proving himself “a writer of the highest order: part storyteller, part philosopher, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve” (Los Angeles Times).

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An essential book which demonstrates the enduring talent of a truly great writer.” Spectator
“As good as anything Wolff has done…Wolff expertly uses irony and empathy to explore facets of contemporary life.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Anthony Heald brings the stories to life with vigor, offering fresh voices and complicated, flawed characters, each as original and believable as the last. Heald has a knack for performance, gifting each tale with his flare for theatrics…Listeners step inside all twenty-one tales and see the world as Wolff himself must have: heartbreaking, hilarious and even a little scary at times.” Publishers Weekly
“Wolff’s impeccable, precise style is well served by narrator Anthony Heald, who delivers these works not as if he’s reading but as if he’s actually ‘telling’ stories. His tone, his voices, and his rhythm all combine to make these works come alive. While many of Wolff’s stories have endings that are, well, less than satisfying, Heald makes the listening worthwhile, turning each [story] into a unique creation. This is a delightful example of how a narrator can enhance the text he reads.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff is the author of several previous books and the editor of a growing list of anthologies. He has received numerous awards, among them the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story. He lives in Northern California and teaches English and creative writing at Stanford University.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 13.10
Audience: Adult
Language: English