The Stories of Richard Bausch This hefty greatest-hits collection solidifies Bausch's rep as a master of compact, closely observed vignettes of yearning and dislocation. Even windfalls -- like sudden wealth… 2003-11-04 Fiction HarperCollins
Book Review

The Stories of Richard Bausch (2003)

Details Release Date: Nov 04, 2003; Writer: Richard Bausch; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: HarperCollins

This hefty greatest-hits collection solidifies Bausch's rep as a master of compact, closely observed vignettes of yearning and dislocation. Even windfalls -- like sudden wealth or a new lover -- can't relieve the queasy sense of impending disaster that lurks in everyday exchanges between intimates. In ''Riches,'' a young man's lottery jackpot becomes a catalyst for personal and familial unraveling, while in ''Valor,'' a drunk's heroic rescue of children trapped in a burning school bus doesn't prevent his wife from moving out later the same morning. Traditional in structure and subject matter, Bausch's stories operate on a heartrendingly human scale. Spare, naturalistic dialogue imbues his characters with a quiet nobility as they struggle to extract themselves from ''the usual awkward position of not knowing what was expected, how [to] proceed.''

Originally posted Oct 31, 2003 Published in issue #735 Oct 31, 2003 Order article reprints