The Lists of the Past
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In selecting The Lists of the Past as her nomination for reissue by Pharos Editions, Cheryl Strayed was moved by the intelligent, emotional depth and breadth” of the stories, all but two of which originally appeared in the New Yorker. Hayden’s New York hums with eccentric observation, humor and grit. Her leisurely Connecticut countryside is fresh with tilled soil, distant lapping waves and the summer breeze. Whether describing a child astonished with new perceptions, a distraught woman walking on Fifth Avenue with her concealed liquor flask, or a pair of lovers on a country picnic, her writing is ardent and precise, placing us at the center of her characters’ lives and destinies. Her masterful voice and distinctive clarity show us the often concealed ways our pain and joy turn into knowledge.