Thoreau’s Laundry

stories by Ann Harleman


These twelve stories span a century and range over two continents. Characters confront love and loss—heartbreak, adultery, divorce, chronic degenerative illness, disability, and death—within a context of political and social upheaval. Their personal battles are intensified by the trials of their times: the onset of WWI, Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, the Iron Curtain, the Cold War, the urban warfare in America’s inner cities, 9/11. Despite their often dire circumstances, Harleman’s characters manage to find moments of light and grace.

“Stellar!”
—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Harleman is capable of startling a reader with a perfect descriptive touch….But there’s even more pleasure to be had in watching these characters stubbornly continue their march towards love.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“In unfailingly delicate prose, Harleman…shows us people confronting the wreckage of their lives—always with compassion on her part, and often with courage on theirs.”
—The Boston Globe

“Ann Harleman is as good a short story writer as we’ve got.”
—John Casey

“A hugely accomplished collection of stories—confidently wide-ranging in theme and setting, eloquent, moving, and shrewdly profound.”
—William Boyd

“Brainy, funny, soulful and original.”
—Meg Wolitzer

 

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