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Refund : Stories
by Karen E. Bender


Overview - We think about it every day, sometimes every hour: Money. Who has it. Who doesn't. How you get it. How you don't.

In Refund, Bender creates an award-winning collection of stories that deeply explore the ways in which money and the estimation of value affect the lives of her characters.  Read more...


 
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More About Refund by Karen E. Bender
 
 
 
Overview
We think about it every day, sometimes every hour: Money. Who has it. Who doesn't. How you get it. How you don't.

In Refund, Bender creates an award-winning collection of stories that deeply explore the ways in which money and the estimation of value affect the lives of her characters. The stories in Refund reflect our contemporary world--swindlers, reality show creators, desperate artists, siblings, parents -- who try to answer the question: What is the real definition of worth?

In "Theft," an eighty-year-old swindler, accustomed to tricking people for their money, boards a cruise ship to see if she can find something of true value--a human connection. In "Anything for Money," the creator of a reality show is thrown into the real world when his estranged granddaughter reenters his life in need of a new heart; and in the title story, young artist parents in downtown Manhattan escape the attack on 9/11 only to face a battle over their subletted apartment with a stranger who might have lost more than only her deposit.

Set in contemporary America, these stories herald a work of singular literary merit by an important writer at the height of her power.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781619024557
  • ISBN-10: 1619024551
  • Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.92 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

Money and its mysteries—how to get it, keep it, steal it, and do without it—link the stories in this collection, but so do the mysteries of having children or being one. Bender’s youthful characters are imperious creatures who leave their parents bewildered, exhausted, and wrung out with love. Parenting, of course, is linked to money: only parents in the middle class—and Bender (A Town of Empty Rooms) makes it clear how tenuous that status is—notice when their children are “experimenting with disdain,” even if they don’t how to respond. (The poor are too busy; the rich have outsourced their child rearing.) Her characters struggle to identify the right thing to do, and wonder how to do it given dire circumstances. There are some astonishing characters in this collection—the elderly grifter in “Theft,” the ailing child in “Anything for Money,” and the sisters in “A Chick from My Dream Life”—but most of the stories are fairly low-key, taking up not the diagnosis but the wait for it, or the sudden anger at a neighbor’s child. And though readers may sometimes crave bigger or more conclusive endings, the stories’ strengths stem from Bender’s beautiful writing and her ability to convey the wonder and dread of ordinary life, the things we might notice—whether with terror or with joy—if we weren’t too busy worrying about paying the bills. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews