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Esther Stories
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Peter gives an overview of the book:

Peter Orner explores the impact of life's essential moments, those brief but far-reaching occasions that haunt his characters. The discovery of a crime, a theatrical performance in a small town, or the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid scenarios. Esther Stories is divided into four distinct parts, each with its own momentum. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers, and the second introduces two Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. These stories cover considerable geographic ground — from Nova Scotia to Mississippi, from Fall River, Massachusetts, to Chicago — but the real territory is emotional. As the narrator of the title story tries to piece together his late aunt Esther's life from the fragments of stories told about her, he remembers what she told him in a...
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Peter Orner explores the impact of life's essential moments, those brief but far-reaching occasions that haunt his characters. The discovery of a crime, a theatrical performance in a small town, or the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid scenarios. Esther Stories is divided into four distinct parts, each with its own momentum. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers, and the second introduces two Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest.

These stories cover considerable geographic ground — from Nova Scotia to Mississippi, from Fall River, Massachusetts, to
Chicago — but the real territory is emotional. As the narrator of the title story tries to piece together his late aunt Esther's life from the fragments of stories told about her, he remembers what she told him in a dark kitchen when he was a child: "You pay for everything. When you think you're getting something for free — remember this — you'll pay later." All thirty-two wide-ranging pieces — funny or sorrowful, urban or rural, simple or innovative — are welcome additions to the art of the story.

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Peter

Peter Orner was born in Chicago and attended Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. He received a law degree from Northeastern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa.

Orner’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly,...

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Member Reviews

jennifermassoni's picture
Apr.18.2008
It’s interesting how you come to love a book--from the moment you hear about it or pluck it from a shelf, purchase it, and add it to the pile of...