Jeffrey Eugenides
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro
April 12, 2019 Comments.. 474
My Mistress s Sparrow is Dead Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro When it comes to love there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappoin

  • Title: My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro
  • Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
  • ISBN: 9780061240379
  • Page: 487
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name It is p When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler A love story can never be about full possession Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name It is perhaps only in reading a love story or in writing one that we can simultaneously partake of the ecstasy and agony of being in love without paying a crippling emotional price I offer this book, then, as a cure for lovesickness and an antidote to adultery Read these love stories in the safety of your single bed Let everybody else suffer Jeffrey Eugenides, from the introduction to My Mistress s Sparrow Is Dead All proceeds from My Mistress s Sparrow Is Dead will go directly to fund the free youth writing programs offered by 826 Chicago 826 Chicago is part of the network of seven writing centers across the United States affiliated with 826 National, a non profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

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    1 Blog on “My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro

    1. Selena says:

      i have a hard time rating this book as a whole. some of the stories made me cry. others made me want to skip to the next one. some i had already encountered in another life. i couldn't stop reading this book. i couldn't stop re-reading the stories. reading them aloud to my boyfriend. watching the look on his face to see if they resonated as strongly with him. it was beautiful. and it was heart-breaking. and it hurt. i felt so dreadful after reading some of them, like it was me this was happening [...]

    2. Books Ring Mah Bell says:

      Let's revisit the definition of love story, shall we?While I have to admit most of these are excellent stories, I'm not sure I'd peg them as "love" stories. Maybe my idea of love is just completely different than the authors of these short stories.In all, this book deserves 5 stars, as most of the writing in here was truly amazing. (and this is high praise coming from a girl who is not big into short stories) I had to knock it down a few stars as the stories simply did not conform to what I want [...]

    3. Krista says:

      A love story can never be about full possession. The happy marriage, the requited love, the desire that never dims – these are lucky eventualities but they aren't love stories. Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart. Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name.In his Introduction, Jeffrey Eugenides provides the above definition for what he was looking for when he set out to collect his f [...]

    4. Katia N says:

      Nowadays, any story about love is threaten to be a story about gender politics. It’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, you just do not want politics, fight and feathers, you want a miracle which is love… This story collection gives you just that. It contains more than two dozen love stories ranging widely from Nabokov to Miranda July and from Faulkner to Alice Monroe. The stories were selected by Geoffrey Eugenides. The collection is introduced by his essay on the nature of a love stor [...]

    5. Sarah Jo says:

      It's ridiculously difficult for me to rate this book because there is such a vast difference between the stories that I relished and the ones that I had to trudge through. I adore Eugenides as an author, but his editing skills in regards to a collection of "great" love stories leaves something to be desired. There are certainly stories that, to me, expressed the epitome of love, such as Munro's "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," in which a husband begins to lose his wife of several decades to bo [...]

    6. Banafsheh Serov says:

      The moment I love best about any book, is the moment I start the first sentence. That sense of anticipation when starting something new. It's the moment when I open myself to a whole new discovery of characters, plot and settings. It's also an intimate conversation with the author, a small personal confession perhaps or an admission of values whispered through dialogue between characters.I don't tend to read anthologies of short stories. I only bought 'My mistress's sparrow is dead' because I ac [...]

    7. Kate says:

      I loved the variety of stories in this collection--and was happy to be introduced to some "classic" contemporary writers whose work I'd never actually read before.Okay, I'll admit it. I hadn't read Harold Brodsky before, and for my money, "First Love and Other Sorrows" was worth the whole book. (However, I didn't like the other Brodsky story in the book.) The glacial movement through time and emotion in that story was deceptive; next thing you know, time has passed and all has changed.I also lov [...]

    8. Vishy says:

      Has some stellar names, some classic stories. Have mixed feelings about the collection, but liked it overall. My favourite stories from the collection were Anton Chekhov's 'The Lady with the Little Dog', Guy de Maupassant's 'Mouche' and Mary Robison's 'Yours'. Longer review soon.

    9. Yulia says:

      Hmm, this is supposedly a great anthology, but is it safe to trust the tastes of an author I don't care for? I'll have to find out. Perhaps he's a better reader than he is a writer, which is too often the case. It would seem not. Two stars for two happy introductions to writers I hadn't considered before: Miranda July ("Something That Needs Nothing") and David Bezmozgis ("Natasha"). As for the rest:Erg, the obviousness of some of these choices irritates me (Joyce's "The Dead," Chekhov's "Lady wi [...]

    10. miaaa says:

      Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name. - Jeffrey EugenidesMy late grandmother was quite ill the last time I met her. She confused me with her stories as she mixed up my late grandfather with one of my uncle. I did not have a chance to know either of my grandfathers as they died when I was few months old. So the only way to know them was through my grandmother's stories about my grandfather or my father's about his father. I don't know if she had loved her husband, my grand [...]

    11. Adam says:

      Mixed bag. Some of the selections are just obvious classics everyone's read: "A Rose for Emily," "The Dead," "The Lady with the Little Dog," for example. Others are by hugely famous authors like Kundera and Nabokov, but not nearly as frequently anthologized (as far as I know). Those two stories, "The Hitch-Hiking Game" and "Spring in Fialta" respectively are probably the two best stories here excepting "The Dead," which is so perfect it's hard to believe. The more contemporary stuff I thought wa [...]

    12. MK says:

      How could this book not be good? I saw it in the bookstore and thought the design was so kick-ass- no book sleeve! We all hate those anyways. The design is ON the hard back. Good decision #1.#2- Jeffrey Eugenides edited it. I never finished Middlesex because I left it on a plane to Italy. But I was super enthralled during the first 80 pages. I also love the Virgin Suicides. Josh Hartnett, and Sophia Coppola.#3. The stories, so far, are incredible. And they're not all Dave Egger's-ish in approach [...]

    13. Adair says:

      Jeffrey Eugenides, the editor of this collection of short stories begins by saying: “I offer this book as a cure for lovesickness and an antidote to adultery. Read these love stories not to confirm the brutal realities of love, but to experience its many variegated, compensatory pleasures.”He takes the title from the poetry of Catullus, who writes of his mistress’s pet sparrow as a rival for her attention. When the sparrow dies and fortune seems to be going his way, he is really no better [...]

    14. Nancy says:

      Opinions on the quality of the writing aside, the apparent definition of love by the compiler and the authors tells me more about them than I wish to know. Apart from a fraction of the stories, the stories have nothing to do with love and more to do with infatuation (if the reader is lucky), lust, narcissism, unadulterated selfishness, and a complete lack of awareness of the other person in their "relationship". Immaturity as a characteristic is a relief in these essentially unrelenting depressi [...]

    15. Becky Stone says:

      I love this collection. Don't be mislead by the idea of "great love stories" - this is not a sugary book. These are painful, moving, messy stories about imperfect people. I highly recommend it.

    16. Brian Solem says:

      This is, overall, a well-curated collection of love-related stories, or as Jeffrey Eugenides dubs it (to paraphrase), "stories about when the sparrow is alive, and stories about when the sparrow is dead." While most of the pieces address dead sparrows, I had to skip a few on account of general (as well as birthday) (oh, as well as pre-V-day) malaise. I'm glad I was reminded of authors like Raymond Carver, whose unsettling "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" addresses moribund domestic l [...]

    17. Emily says:

      What an unusual collection of "love" stories! A few were along the lines of what is expected upon hearing the term "love story", but many of the contributions defied tradition in some respect. I especially enjoyed the entries by Chekhov, Moore, Dybek, de Maupassant, and Saunders. I was never a big fan of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, but The Lady With the Little Dog piqued my interest in reading more of his short stories. Dybek's We Didn't, though frustrating for the narrator, is thoroughly enjo [...]

    18. Jason says:

      For the most part, anthologies blow. I only picked this one up because of the diversity of the authors. They put Faulkner, De Maupassant, and Chekhov on the same bill as Saunders, Munro, and Miranda July. Sounds like one of Dave Barry’s loony debacles to unite the literary world. And I’m not so far off. Eugenides in his introduction attributes his focus on love stories to “the Bono of Lit,” himself. But despite my petty contrivances, this is a damn good collection.There are some stories [...]

    19. H. says:

      It's hard for me to give this book an overall rating. It is a bittersweet collection full of the certain ache that only love can stir. There were some familiar stories I had read before, but most were new to me and all were good, with one being especially great.These stories I had read before: Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog," Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Joyce's "The Dead," Nabokov's "Spring in Fialta," and Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." All are great stories w [...]

    20. Stephanie says:

      A billion stars. All of the stars.

    21. Charlotte says:

      I purchased this some time ago, and it's been waiting patiently on my bookshelves before being tossed into my suitcase as a last minute back-up holiday read. Upon starting it, I cursed myself for ignoring it for so long, because right from the opener (Harold Brodkey's "First Love and Other Sorrows") this collection is short-story writing at its best. As Jeffrey Eugenides explains in his introduction, he has not selected stories where the lovers are instantly fulfilled and live happily ever after [...]

    22. Angela Elizabeth says:

      When a short story compilation goes by the subtitle 'Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro' you might be excused for thinking that you already know who will be appearing on this list of usual suspects. This collection, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides, is anything but predictable, however - and that is its greatest strength. Sure, there are a few familiar names here - beyond Chekhov and Munro, there is Raymond Carver, Ovid, Nabokov, and Kundera - but there are plenty of unexpected names interspers [...]

    23. Kate says:

      I FINALLY finished this book after likeover a year or something. A long time. And even though it took me so long, I recommend reading it the way I did - spaced out. This collection is so awesome that I wouldn't want the stories blurring together in my memory. They're all so different and amazing for very different reasons. Out of all the stories in the book, there were probably only two that I didn't care for. And even those weren't terrible - they just didn't make me feel as much as the others [...]

    24. Anthony Panegyres says:

      A few stories are conservative choices with ubiquitous homes(Checkov, de Maupassant, Faulkner) but other selections here are fresh and innovative. Eugenides has chosen stories that explore the many wondrous facets of love rather than simply targeting the romantic. On the down side I've always found Guy de Maupassant dry and dated and the story 'Mouche'only further confirmed this for me. Nabokov's story 'Spring in Fialta' is excessive; Moore's second person story 'How to be Another Woman'is diffi [...]

    25. Aniqahc says:

      I love short stories. And I love LOVE stories. So I bought this book prepared to be heartbroken and joyful and wallow in the genius of truly magnificent writing. After all the book promises these are the GREATEST love stories.Well I started reading. And eventually I slowed down. I wasn't looking forward to each story. I just wanted to finish the bloody book. Hardly any of the stories moved me. Did I have a heart of stone?I finally twigged what the problem was when I looked at the authors list at [...]

    26. Jenny Shipp says:

      I am pretty sure this is the worst title of a book I have ever seen! I bought it to take with me to Italy. I wanted something I wouldn't finish in 2 days or even 2 weeks. I have been listening to a series of lectures on tape about Reading. He referenced Chekov's short story, The Lady With the Little Dog. I thought, OK, I'll get it and at least read THAT story. Well, It is probably a great story but I didn't love it like I loved Alice Munro's story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain, Harold Brodkey [...]

    27. Sarah says:

      I was wavering toward a three star review until I read the last story, a gorgeous piece by Alice Munro in which a man deals with his wife's encroaching dementia.The subtitle "great love stories" is deceiving, as might be expected in a McSweeney's anthology edited by Jeffrey Eugenides. There's love, but also lust and love lost and unrequited love. Not too many happy endings in the batch. There are a few classics, like Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily," alongside some future classics and some misfires [...]

    28. Carly says:

      Because Jeffrey Eugenides takes his sweet time between writing incredible novels, when I heard there was a short story compilation edited by him it was purchased on my amazon account and being shipped to my house as fast as my fingers could go. After reading the first few stories I began to get worried. I didn't bother to read what the theme of the compilation was when I purchased--his name was enough for me. But the first few stories (by some of the 'classics'--Faulkner, Joyce) had me terrified [...]

    29. Ivana says:

      In terms of style, well-written, but otherwise there isn't much to recommend these stories unless you like reading about fickle men who value women only as mysterious objects of desire. "It was grim that she existed and I had not had her" is a sentence from one of the stories which sums the whole collection quite nicely.Having read all the stories, I returned to the introduction and realized the whole unpleasant experience of reading them could have been avoided had I read the introduction more [...]

    30. Ashley Terrago says:

      Like so many of the other reviewers, I have such mixed feelings about rating this book. Some of the short stories sparkle. However, there were a few that left me a little disappointed, though not so much because of the quality of writing, rather because I felt that I didn't belong in this book. My main problem with the collection isn't so much a criticism -- I felt like the whole time I was reading it, I was expecting something so very different than what was there. I suppose that's more my issu [...]

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