The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg Stories

Deborah Eisenberg




Trade Paperback

992 Pages



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Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Winner of the 2011 Ambassador Book Award
A Finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize

Since 1986, with the publication of her first story collection, Deborah Eisenberg has devoted herself to writing “exquisitely distilled stories” which “present an unusually distinctive portrait of contemporary American life” to quote the MacArthur Foundation. This one volume brings together Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, All Around Atlantis and her most recent collection, Twilight of the Superheroes.


Praise for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg

"Deborah Eisenberg writes with a playwright's quick, bristling ear for dialogue and a painter's affection for nuance and image . . . Miss Eisenberg has found words to capture all the fleeting, ambivalent emotions of daily experience . . . and she's turned those elusive feelings into shimmering stories that possess the power to charm and to move us."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"This collection contains in their entirety the four books of stories Eisenberg has written over a 20-year span . . . The resulting book weighs in at just under a thousand pages: heavy lifting but not heavy reading. Although the stories explore different geographies and different lives, there is more consistency throughout than variety. Those who admire some portion of Eisenberg's writing will find the same pleasures in the whole: remarkable language, unconventional story­telling and her characters' well-­rendered and profound unease at inhabiting an uneasy world . . . Eisenberg conveys their interiority in such a fine grain that one thinks of Virginia Woolf, if only Woolf's work were leavened with startling humor."—Jean Thompson, The New York Times
"Deborah Eisenberg, one of America's finest writers, offers new ways of seeing and feeling, as if something were being perfected at the core . . . Light-years ahead of most story writers."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Eisenberg is a master of condensation and reconstruction, making beautiful murals from broken glass."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Readers who have enjoyed Eisenberg's four volumes of short stories or grown familiar with her work in The New Yorker over the past 20 years will be thrilled with this substantial collection, which demonstrates the full range of her talents. These satisfyingly lengthy stories also have the potential to engross readers who avoid the genre, having been left hanging one too many times with lazy, enigmatic endings. Eisenberg is equally at home with artsy Manhattan social comedy (see 'Flotsam,' from Transactions in a Foreign Currency and 'Some Other, Better Otto,' from Twilight of the Superheroes), Jamesian narratives that characterize complex relationships in gracefully balanced long sentences (see 'A Cautionary Tale,' from Under the 82nd Airborne), politically savvy stories that capture differences of race and class through the perspective of American transplants in countries like Honduras (see 'Broken Glass,' Transactions, and 'Someone To Talk To,' from All Around Atlantis), and clear-eyed stories that nevertheless reveal the disjointed perceptions of characters with tragically damaged psyches (see 'Window,' Twilight) . . . This impressive volume celebrates the prodigious talent of a writer who deserves to be better known."—Sue Russell, Library Journal
Praise for Deborah Eisenberg:

“Shimmering stories that possess the power and charm to move us.”—The New York Times

“There aren’t many contemporary novels as shudderingly intimate and mordantly funny as Eisenberg’s best stories.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of America’s finest writers.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Eisenberg’s stories possess all the steely beauty of a knife wrapped in velvet.”—The Boston Globe

“Concentrated bursts of perfection.”—The Times (London)

“Comic, elegant and pitch perfect.”—Vanity Fair

“One of the great fiction writers living in America today.”—The Dallas Morning News

What It Was Like, Seeing Chris
Rafe's Coat
A Lesson in Traveling Light
Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Broken Glass
A Cautionary Tale
Under the 82nd Airborne
The Robbery
The Custodian
Holy Week
In the Station
The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor
Across the Lake
Someone to Talk To
Tlaloc's Paradise
Rosie Gets a Soul
All Around Atlantis
Twlight of the Superheroes
Some Other, Better Otto
Like It or Not
Revenge of the Dinosaurs
The Flaw in the Deisgn

In the Press

Book Review - The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg -
Deborah Eisenberg conveys her acutely self-conscious characters' interiority with a Woolf-like grain, though with startling humor.
Book Review: 'The Collected Stories Of Deborah Eisenberg' : NPR
The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg combines the writer's four books of short stories into one impressive display of talent. Eisenberg's volume shows a mastery over the art of illustrating human emotion and complexity.
The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg - The Barnes & Noble Review
For the past month, Deborah Eisenberg has slowly brought my reading habit to a surprising standstill. I dove into this fat, wonderful collection like a man in a hot dog eating contest. No one writes the kind of strange, deeply intuitive short stor

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Deborah Eisenberg is the author of four collections of stories. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has taught at the University of Virginia since 1994, where she is currently a professor of creative writing.

Read the full excerpt



  • Writers Series: Deborah Eisenberg

    Recipient of a 2009 MacArthur Fellowship, Deborah Eisenberg was recently recognized by Ben Marcus, writing in The New York Times, as one of the most important fiction writers now at work. She has been publishing spare and elegant prose to national acclaim since the 1980s, with many of her stories appearing in The New Yorker. Winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and three O. Henry Awards, Eisenberg's latest work is her 1,000-page Collected Stories.



  • Deborah Eisenberg

  • Deborah Eisenberg is the author of four collections of stories. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has taught at the University of Virginia since 1994, where she is currently a professor of creative writing.

  • Deborah Eisenberg Diana Michener