Usually, I'm not one for short stories. I'd rather have a full-length, fully engrossing novel that requires time and dedication to complete, rather than a single piece that requires less than an hour of my time and interest. But I couldn't help picking up My Mistress' Sparrow is Dead when I saw it at the library. Edited by Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and, one of my favorite novels, Middlesex, this book boasts stories from some of the most winning and varied writers around: Raymond Carver, Eileen Chang, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Miranda July Milan Kundera, Bernard Malamud, Alice Munro, Robert Musil, Vladimir Nabokov, and George Saunders, to name just a few.
The collection of love stories is by no means your standard boy meets girl, falls in love, and lives happily ever after. These stories cover all sorts of love and the various ways in which it alights, struggles, dies, forces people apart and brings them back together again. Love in all its many forms, faces, shapes, and sizes.
This anthology is a true find that will leave you encourage you to reconsider your notions on love at each story's end. It plays almost like a literary Paris Je'Taime (a great compilation of short films about love in the world's most romantic city, Paris) in that the multiple stories may not intersect at face value, but they all show a very particular version of love and share great continuity in that.