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Elegy on Kinderklavier PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Elegy on Kinderklavier

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Elegy on Kinderklavier PDF, ePub eBook Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction Barnes & Noble 2014 Discover Great New Writers Selection, Third Place The stories in Elegy on Kinderklavier explore the profound loss and intricate effects of war on lives that have been suddenly misaligned. A diplomat navigates a hostile political climate and an arranged marriage in an Israeli settlement on a newly dis Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction Barnes & Noble 2014 Discover Great New Writers Selection, Third Place The stories in Elegy on Kinderklavier explore the profound loss and intricate effects of war on lives that have been suddenly misaligned. A diplomat navigates a hostile political climate and an arranged marriage in an Israeli settlement on a newly discovered planet; a small town in Kansas shuns the army recruiter who signed up its boys as troops are deployed to Iraq, falling in helicopters and on grenades; a family dissolves around mental illness and a child's body overtaken by cancer. The moment a soldier steps on an explosive device is painfully reproduced, nanosecond by nanosecond. Arna Bontemps Hemenway's stories feel pulled out of time and place, and the suffering of his characters seem at once otherworldly and stunningly familiar. Elegy on Kinderklavier is a disquieting exploration of what it is to lose and be lost.

30 review for Elegy on Kinderklavier

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meg Nguyen

    This collection of short stories is beautifully and masterfully composed. Although the topic is rather depressing (PTSD, mental illness, etc.), Hemenway manages to compel the reader to turn each page. Hemenway's characters are well thought out; each character seems impossibly real and raw. You can tell Hemenway spent a great deal of time crafting each character. I recommend this collection of short stories to almost every voracious reader I meet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JanieH

    The stories in this collection are slightly longer than most short stories, with most bordering on being a novella. They require a commitment and an emotional investment and tackle difficult issues -- PTSD, cancer, mental health. Despite the depressing topics, the stories compel you to keep reading and to search within yourself for compassion and understanding.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Hemenway writes very well; his inclusion in the Iowa Writers' Workshop is well-earned and it seems like he learned much from it. I can't shake the feeling that these were exercises rather than inspirations; there's a lot of formal excellence here, little feeling. This is unfortunate given that the subjects he tackles are universally bleak. The first story here is about a soldier's struggles with PTSD, and it's arguably the cheeriest one of the lot. Hemenway clearly knows his characters well; for Hemenway writes very well; his inclusion in the Iowa Writers' Workshop is well-earned and it seems like he learned much from it. I can't shake the feeling that these were exercises rather than inspirations; there's a lot of formal excellence here, little feeling. This is unfortunate given that the subjects he tackles are universally bleak. The first story here is about a soldier's struggles with PTSD, and it's arguably the cheeriest one of the lot. Hemenway clearly knows his characters well; for long stretches of the title story the deterioration of a marriage under strain of a sick child feels so lived-in that one fears for the author. But the story revolves around a dying child and the horror is so complete it just feels cheap. An unlikeable book by a very promising young talent.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Drew McCutchen

    I enjoyed these stories. Their contents varied, but they were intricately constructed and brimming with emotion and pain. Hemenway does a great job of filling characters with humanity and then stripping it away, back and forth, until I felt unable to judge the "goodness" of their actions, but instead just saw it as the consequence of everything up to that point. My personal favorites were The IED and Elegy on Kinderklavier which I finished huddled in a private library chair, fighting tears.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tethered Letters

    Read Colin Griffith's interview with Arna Bontemps Hemenway on Elegy on Kinderklavier: http://tetheredbyletters.com/pain-and... Also, read Colin Griffith's book review of Elegy on Kinderklavier: http://tetheredbyletters.com/book-rev...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    Smart, well-crafted stories that bog down a bit in thick prose and in terms of pace. Several stories concerned with the Iraqi war, a couple that culture-hop through Africa and Iraq to explore the complicated relationships and lives of gay men, and a crushing novella chronicling a couple's struggling relationship and their young child's battle with cancer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Very solid story collection. These are longer pieces, 30 - 60 pp apiece, so they do take a bit of time and emotional investment. Standouts are third story, The IED, and the title story, Elegy on Kinderklavier.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susanna

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Bohnsack

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Finney

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elvira Colon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  18. 5 out of 5

    Krista

  19. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dave Madden

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sue Russell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Kusek

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Tan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fritz

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jay Wood

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Chatagnier

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