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Praise for Binocular Vision


winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
winner of the 2011 PEN/Malamud Award
winner of the 2012 Harold U. Ribalow Prize, given by Hadassah
winner of the 2012 Julia Ward Howe Prize
winner of the 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year (stories)
winner of the 2011 Edward Lewis Wallant Award
a 2011 finalist for the National Book Award
a 2011 finalist for The Story Prize
a 2011 finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize



“Her writing is intelligent, perceptive, funny, and quite beautiful . . . Pearlman’s view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments . . . The volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one. Maybe from now on everyone will know of Edith Pearlman.”
—Roxana Robinson, New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

“Pearlman peels back the surface of the conventional and reveals the more complicated emotions underneath . . . All of the pieces here have been exquisitely arranged to make this book. Themes recur; narratives speak to one another—the effect is not so much of a sampling as of a suite. Of all the remarkable things about Binocular Vision, this may be the most compelling, that it enacts a worldview in thirty-four precise and subtle movements, reminding us that if connection is elusive, there is nobility in perseverance, and that we are almost always greater than the sum of our parts.”
—David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“There is a vast difference between reading Pearlman’s stories in a magazine or anthology and reading this collection . . . Depictions of people, places, and manners are so perfect that the stories become totally immersive. The characters, always interesting, are limned just as strongly whether female or male, young or old . . . and linger in memory long after the book is closed . . . Give this wonderful collection to fans of such classic short story writers as Andre Dubus and Alice Munro and novelists like Nicole Krauss. They will thank you.”
Booklist, starred review

“A finely tuned collection by writer’s writer Edith Pearlman combines the best of previous collections with austere, polished new work . . . This should win new converts for Pearlman.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Pearlman writes with a kind of serene precision that would astonish any writer.”
Christian Science Monitor

“These stories are note-perfect . . . By gathering some earlier pieces along with her newest work, this volume shows an artist who has never stopped developing.”
Boston Globe

“Rare is the collection that rewards many divings; rarer still when all of the work, whether early or new, is confident in its artistry, when the hours spent reading escape notice in the way only complete absorption allows . . . No matter what [her characters] endure—from the smallest suburban malady to death—she treats their pain with respect. No schmaltz, no judgment, no tugging at the heartstrings, just a steady gaze and a gradual widening of the focus as Pearlman lets readers in on something wonderful and searing that had been there all along.”
The Rumpus

“Pearlman’s stories have a kind of delicacy; they are entirely devoid of the gimmickry or obvious architecture of many short stories . . . The language is simultaneously wise and childlike, the observation wistful and accepting, the emotions, as always with Pearlman, muted until suddenly they are not.”

“I was mesmerized by the tight, quiet, edgy control of the prose, by the refracted but loving light Pearlman throws on her characters, by the heart-pounding tension, and the dazzling resolution.”
—Dominique Browning, author of Slow Love

“Edith Pearlman’s stories will be national treasures.”
Wilmington Star-News

Binocular Vision should be the book with which Edith Pearlman casts off her secret-handshake status and takes up her rightful position as a national treasure. Put her stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That’s where they belong.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Run and Bel Canto, from the Introduction


“Edith Pearlman is an absolute master of the form: these are stories that abjure tricks and flash for brilliantly drawn characters, classic construction, and language that sings and aches all at once.”
—T. C. Boyle, author of Wild Child and Other Stories and The Tortilla Curtain


“So many lives seethe inside this book! It's a city, a country, a world, rendered in devastating detail and delivered from one woman’s sparkling and rare imagination. If you read, write, or teach short fiction—if you believe gorgeous, scrupulously made literature nourishes the soul—then you must read Edith Pearlman.”
—Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall and The Shell Collector


“In a world where volume is often prized over what’s actually been said, it is a great comfort to know there are writers like Edith Pearlman, who works outside the noise and writes alongside Chekhov and Frank O’Connor and other master storytellers . . . With a lucid perception of unchanging and unchangeable human nature, Pearlman presents, without easy quirks or facile pretense, a fantastical world made of people like you and me. Please enter and rejoice.”
—Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers


“The stories in Binocular Vision demonstrate Edith Pearlman's astonishing range—her curiosity and highly empathetic intelligence squire the reader through a marvelous variety of physical and psychological landscapes. But the collection also reveals the lovely common denominator of her fiction, a buoyant grace, which she gently exhorts us to recognize in everyday life.”
—Chris Adrian, author of A Better Angel and The Children’s Hospital


“A new collection by Edith Pearlman is always cause for celebration . . . Binocular Vision is a major, glorious book from one of our most important and (until now) overlooked fiction writers.”
—Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers' Homes in New England


“Edith Pearlman is a master of the short story . . . Her characters are complicated, fully alive. You can’t stop reading, because you know they’ll astonish you on the very next page.”
—Alice Mattison, author of In Case We’re Separated and The Book Borrower