The Law of Averages: New and Selected Stories by Frederick Barthelme

Although seemingly simply written, these are some of the most sophisticated stories I have ever read. Barthelme is so even tempered, so subtly loving, and so good at fixing upon key details that bring a scene to life that his work is both a joy to read and a reward to study. His subject, the “New South,” with its strip malls and pierced adolescents, is much less differentiated than Faulkner’s, and much less expansive than Hemingway’s grandiose global stage of writerly operations. Yet Barthelme’s prose is more than up to Continue reading