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Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived

Short Stories

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In an elegant and penetrating first short-story collection, Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived, Lily Tuck's characters travel to unknown, exotic places and, while there, find themselves deeply immersed in observation -- of the natives, the local customs, the foreign landscape -- in an effort to discern some elemental truth about who they themselves are. Instead, these women meet with disorientation, confusion; they are disappointed by the people closest to them -- lovers, husbands, family members. Finally, they arrive at the sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately optimistic realization that the answers they seek lie not in other people or places but within themselves.

Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived is a brilliant collection from a writer of exceptional poise and insight.

From Publishers Weekly

10 December 2001 – Tuck (Siam; The Woman Who Walked on Water) efficiently and eloquently chronicles the lives of women who undergo both geographical and emotional displacement in these 14 short stories. The characters end up in Peru, France, Italy, Southeast Asia and various North American locales, usually in the throes of unsatisfying relationships or suffering from nostalgic regret. Tuck's globe-trotting adds more than just splashes of exotica; she employs the varied settings to underscore a sense of dislocation. Her protagonists (principally Americans) associate with the locals and negotiate foreign customs and history while reflecting on their own pasts, which frequently include failed relationships with men. In "Next of Kin," a newly married woman ruminates on the elderly man who crashed his car into the church on her wedding day, the obsession obscuring the growing rift between her and her husband. A woman goes to California to visit her former college roommate in "Horses," and her insecurities surface during a swimming outing with her old friend's lover and his daughter. Alone in Paris, in "Rue Guynemer," a woman finds that she has a more vivid image in her head of the World War I pilot for whom her street is named than of her ex-husband. Tuck's style is simple, unembellished, and mixes a range of narrative voices. Though the stories can feel underdeveloped, and a few of the plots resemble each other too closely, these are fine-boned, intelligent, meticulously observed fictions. A talented writer, Tuck honestly explores the ways in which women yearn for and seek out better lives.
Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived
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  • £6.49
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: 13 October 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Print Length: 192 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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