Amy Hempel is a master of the short story. This celebrated volume gathers together her complete work -- four short collections of stunning stories about marriages, minor disasters, and moments of revelation.
With her inimitable compassion and wit, Hempel introduces characters who make choices that seem inevitable, and whose longings and misgivings evoke eternal human experience.
For readers who have known Hempel's work for decades and for those who are just discovering her, this indispensable volume contains all the stories in Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, and The Dog of the Marriage. No reader of great writing should be without it.
"It’s a given that someday a major world religion will arise from this book. It will become a religious text for our descendants, and millions will burn candles around statues of Ms. Hempel. She is a wonder. Honestly, each time you read this book it shortens your time in Purgatory and speeds your eventual salvation." —Chuck Palahniuk, for The New York Post
"This could be a very short review. Read this book. These stories are...always original and perfectly expressed." -- New York Times Book Review
"The literary event of the year." -- The Village Voice
"Amy Hempel's dazzling wit and exquisite use of language are impossible to disclaim." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Hempel is unique. Her word-by-word virtuosity is off the charts; her artistic evolution is phenomenal." -- Chicago Tribune
"Hempel has established herself among the strongest voices in American fiction.... Hers is the work of a brave, unflinching mind.... Her prose conveys a world stripped to its essences." -- Los Angeles Times
"Over and over again, Hempel pulls out life's pathos so concisely, so extraordinarily, and yet underneath it all is affirmation.... In short, Hempel makes you into a better reader." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"A veritable cosmos of revelations is in reach in The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel." -- Chicago Tribune
"Few fiction writers are as intensely admired by their peers as is Hempel.... Hempel's is a hard-boiled sensibility, and each of her stories will leave the reader shaken." -- The Atlantic Monthly
"As gripping as any novel...Tart, shimmering fables of passion." -- The New York Observer