Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Expense of a View

Polly Buckingham's short story collection The Expense of a View from University of North Texas Press is the 2016 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Ficiton winner. I read the fourteen short stories one at a time over a month. Each story is a gem, moving and often heart rending, probing the deep sorrows and despair of persons in crisis.

Loss and grief, desertion and emptiness, alienation, regret, and despair are probed with beautiful language and compassionate insight. The characters are the homeless and runaways, children and parents, male and female, covering the scope of human experience.

You may think, how crushingly sad these stories are, how could you read them? Partly because the writing is luminous, but mostly because I felt a better person after reading them, more understanding and open. Suffering and need surrounds us, but we do not see it. Great literature can bring us inside the lives of others, revealing what we choose to ignore, and make us responsible for our reactions.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

"My characters are typically deeply introspective, often rural and often under great psychological duress or up against enormous changes in their lives. They find themselves lost, disoriented, and unclear about what is real and what is not. My intent is to push readers to value those moments of hesitation so that they too might slow down and appreciate the world for its greatest mysteries: the dream world, the natural world, and the world of the psyche. " Polly Buckingham

Press release:

The Expense of a View
Polly Buckingham
University of North Texas Press
Publication Date November 15, 2016
$14.95 paperback
ISBN:  9781574416473

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