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Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny
  

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Displaying a light deftness of touch while highlighting a contorted darkness, these eleven short stories emphasise the more twisted and melancholy side of relationships. Plaintive hearts and minds, often shying away from reality, appear to be continuously searching for that illusive creature happiness. The author has the ability to describe both commitment and deception, with wit, compassion and consideration. Three of the stories contain the same characters, an interesting variation to the other tales that adds a little pop of anticipation as their lives unfold. The title is misleading, however ironic it may feel once you start to read these stories, it also feels strangely sincere. ~ Liz Robinson

Synopsis

Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny

'Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve - and makes you laugh along the way' Lena Dunham In the title story, we meet Maya, who is torn between her wryly funny boyfriend and the allure of her veterinarian. In Andorra, a woman's lover calls her every Thursday as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counselling. How to Give the Wrong Impression shows us a woman pining for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tell her that her palm is sweaty. In The Dive Bar a girl agrees to have a drink with her married lover's wife. Revisiting Maya in several stories, chronicling her various states of love, this is a collection about how we are unfaithful to each other, both wilfully and unwittingly. Populated with unwelcome house guests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and flirtatious older men, the stories are emotionally astute, sexy, and disarming-and they introduce us to a tart, and marvellous, new voice.

Reviews

'Formed of ten exquisitely-composed stories (all featuring women in various states of love), Heiny's book takes a disarming and wry look at the inherent nature of betrayal and secrets within relationships'
Elle

'Single, Carefree, Mellow is a book about heartache, adultery, love, and loss that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and wise, sometimes in the very same sentence. It's full of lines so smart and sharp that I was compelled to stop and read them out loud to my friends. This book is amazing, brilliant, and nothing short of wonderful' Jennifer Close, author of 'Girls in White Dresses' and 'The Smart One'

'Funny and heartfelt ... Few characters are single and even fewer are carefree - though most long to be. Instead, they are remorseful about their disloyalties, torn between spouses and secret lovers, and guilt-ridden over the betrayals they commit in the name of love ... Maya, who appears in several more stories in various stages of life and love, is one of many captivating characters expertly imagined by Heiny ... An exceptionally humorous collection by a talented new writer' Library Journal

'Katherine Heiny where have you been all my life? Single, Carefree, Mellow is among the most insightful, funny, and smart collections I've read in a very long time. The unfaithful lovers and spouses that populate so many of these stories remain loveable and true despite their bad behaviour and questionable choices. And their happy endings feel earned and unsentimental. How did you pull that off? There are echoes of Lorrie Moore, Melissa Bank, and even Alice Munro, but the voice is fresh and original throughout. More, more, more. Please!' Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others

'Not since Laurie Colwin has a writer so poignantly and wittily depicted the joys of sexual infidelity. Katherine Heiny knows the secret: happy marriages make for happy affairs. Also happy readers' Susan Rieger, author of The Divorce Papers

About the Author

Katherine Heiny's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. This is her first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Katherine Heiny

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Publisher

Format

Paperback

Categories

Relationship Stories
Short Story Collections
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ISBN

9780008105556

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