Women in Their Beds: New and Selected Stories

Paperback
This remarkable collection received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, a gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of California, and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. For four decades Gina Berriault has been writing short stories praised for their elegance, compassion, range, and psychological intelligence. Writers from Raymond Carver to Andre Dubus have championed her work, which has been published in magazines from The Paris Review to Harpers Bazaar. Though she has received many fellowships and prizes, she has been too often overlooked.Suddenly, however, this has changed. In 1997, Berriault captured four of this countrys most prestigious awards: The National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Rea Award for the Short Story, and a gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of California. In addition, the book reviewers in her home state of California bestowed upon her the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. Brigitte Frase, writing for Newsday, seemingly had a premonition when she wrote in December of 1996, Gina Berriault has been writing superbly for [forty] years. Its time she became an overnight sensation.Berriaults deep understanding of human emotions and human predicaments draws us into her stories--a librarian pursued by a homeless man searching for the meaning of his life, a daughter listening to her father as he speaks awkwardly to his heartbroken mistress, a son reintroducing himself to his parents after many years of absence. From her first lines (When Milo Jukovich was 19, he introduced himself to his father) to her last (She heard his breath take over for him and, in that secretive way the sleeper knows nothing about, carry on his life) her narrative sense and her eye for detail astound.She is a writer of uncommon range, her moods sometimes distanced and ironic, other times achingly raw and direct. She has said that she is indebted to the Russians--Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy,and Turgenev--for her literary inheritance, but she rejects every way of categorizing her writing. I find my sustenance in the outward, she says, in the wealth of humankind everywhere, and do not wish to be thought of as a Jewish writer or a feminist writer or as a Californian writer or as a leftwing writer or categorized by any interpretation. I find it liberating to roam wherever my heart and my mind guide me.