Speak The Mag

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s 25 books include the novels Disturbances in the FieldLeaving Brooklyn, nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and Rough Strife, nominated for a National Book Award.  Her third poetry collection, No Way Out But Through, came out in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh Press Poetry Series.  Her most recent book is Crossing Bordersan anthology she edited of stories and essays on the theme of translation.  She also has published story collections, non-fiction, and translations from Italian.  She edited The Emergence of Memory, an anthology of interviews with and essays on W.G. Sebald.  She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts.  She has taught at many colleges and universities here and abroad, and presently teaches at the Bennington College Writing Seminars and the Columbia University School of the  Arts. 

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Fiction

Truthtelling: Stories, Fables, Glimpses

With her new, dazzling collection of short fiction, Schwartz has propelled herself to the front rank of inventive short story writers such as George Sanders and David Means. Her characters are indefatigable New Yorkers whose long-established routines are thwarted by a swerve of fate or a mishap or a time warp. A man generously lends his car to his ex-wife and is bewildered when she neglects to return it and keeps making implausible excuses not to bring it back. A neat and orderly clothing store owner is taken in and manipulated by an ailing elderly neighbor who then leaves her all earthly possessions. A woman who has been left by her husband for a younger woman and forced to visit the couple in order to see her children, realizes with a mixture of fascination and elation that her former husband has been physically and psychologically debilitated by his recent marriage to a much younger wife. The majority of Schwartz's characters reflect her many decades of accumulating wisdom and her sharp and fascinating perspective. Reflecting on the past, one of her characters muses "Memory is so prone to digression. To sustain a logical or chronological sequence, we must keep dragging our minds off their natural course, like a cowboy tugging on a calf with a rope around its neck who wants to run off into the fields." With this sort of nuanced thinking, Schwartz's fiction brings new angles of intelligence to day-to day questions.

Truthtelling: Stories, Fables, Glimpses
Fiction

Truthtelling: Stories, Fables, Glimpses

With her new, dazzling collection of short fiction, Schwartz has propelled herself to the front rank of inventive short story writers such as George Sanders and David Means. Her characters are indefatigable New Yorkers whose long-established routines are thwarted by a swerve of fate or a mishap or a time warp. A man generously lends his car to his ex-wife and is bewildered when she neglects to return it and keeps making implausible excuses not to bring it back. A neat and orderly clothing store owner is taken in and manipulated by an ailing elderly neighbor who then leaves her all earthly possessions. A woman who has been left by her husband for a younger woman and forced to visit the couple in order to see her children, realizes with a mixture of fascination and elation that her former husband has been physically and psychologically debilitated by his recent marriage to a much younger wife. The majority of Schwartz's characters reflect her many decades of accumulating wisdom and her sharp and fascinating perspective. Reflecting on the past, one of her characters muses "Memory is so prone to digression. To sustain a logical or chronological sequence, we must keep dragging our minds off their natural course, like a cowboy tugging on a calf with a rope around its neck who wants to run off into the fields." With this sort of nuanced thinking, Schwartz's fiction brings new angles of intelligence to day-to day questions.