In Envy Country MOBI ☆ In Envy ePUB Ñ


10 thoughts on “In Envy Country

  1. says:

    Reviewed in 2010 There s not a false note in Joan Frank s short story collection, In Envy Country, winner of the 2010 Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction from the University of Notre Dame Press Her stories combine rapturous surface detail and harrowing psychological acuity Frank s characters, like most of us, can t resist measuring themselves against those friends, family and business associates who seem blessed with beauty or success, privilege or power The very beautiful owned a secret, declares the forty year old narrator of Savoir Faire, Savoir Vivre, a displaced Californian in Paris trying to write, and to read all I can , where she has met up with a former high school friend, a professional swimmer from Sacramento, whose sister Nikki, a painter, had been the most dazzling girl in school Sipping wine cocktails in a French caf , the two women reminisce and commiserate, sharing their nearly morbid fascination with the unbearably gorgeous Nikki You could never come to terms with beauty like that, but even at fourteen you could see that the world was ruled by it As we learn of the rise and fall of Nikki s fortunes, the birth of a daughter, a broken marriage, artistic struggles, and finally showing her age, like other mortals, we re asked to consider beauty as an abstract force, troubling and destructive to all who fall within its orbit Beauty torches the place, the narrator insists.Perception is a prism that changes with the light In Frank s stories, a character s epiphany is no sure bet or shortcut to the truth of the matter Her characters always respond in character Point of view is everything We re uncertain at times where to place our allegiance Reader anxiety is half the fun here, but it requires a willingness to step outside of our comfort zone Frank works unsettling magic with awkward social situations like dinner parties and family gatherings, all of which invariably erupt with repressed hostilities and dark revelations.In the title story an ostentatiously wealthy couple argue and storm out of their mansion at dinnertime, leaving their guests a married couple of modest middle class means to watch the oven as well as the argument itself framed in the picture window like a silent movie The visiting couple find themselves reevaluating their own marriage In A Thing That Happens a dinner party is derailed when two guests describe an experience from a recent European vacation the different way men vs women respond to the sight of a twentysomething blonde with enormous breasts way out of proportion to the rest of her like a neon sign a wheelbarrow The men, predictably, are delighted, whereas the women s gaze is fraught with anger and, yes, envy Because that is what men want The anecdote, told by an aging couple, is set against the short story s central character, a young woman coming into her sexuality, whom we meet in the opening sentence Sara Bream gathered her breath so that her pillowy twenty year old chest, in its soft China blue sweater, filled to even greater, lovelier loft she let it out slowly and forcefully Frank s range is impressive She can write funny and sharp about modern office politics A Note on the Type and Betting on Men , craft a heartbreaking coming of age tale about growing up in 1960s Sacramento Rearview , and even take us on a wildly disturbing transgressive visit to a Spanish sex club Sandy Candy While In Envy Country hasn t received the high profile attention of, say, Wells Tower s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, or Elizabeth Strout s Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge, Joan Frank s provocative short story collection is fully deserving of similar praise and wide readership.


  2. says:

    I often find myself frustrated by short stories since the format tends to prohibit the kind of in depth, rounded characters that I look for when I read Joan Frank, however, manages to make me rethink the genre In Envy Country is a collection of stories, all fully independent from one another vs the overlapping characters story lines favored in recent years Many of the stories look at women and their relationships In addition to the common focus on relations between men and women, many of Frank s pieces examine relationships between women A college aged woman watching an older woman interact at a dinner party A woman reflecting on her step sister s teen years A story narrated by a woman recalling a female coworker and Two women talking about the unexpected twists in the life of a girl who d been popular in school.There is also a heavy emphasis on perception such as one story in which a woman watches a picture perfect couple fight and another involving a woman telling a story about how differently men and women reacted to a very well endowed I particularly enjoyed this element of the collection, especially the clear recognition of the paradox not quite the right word of writing reading stories about observation.I enjoyed this collection There were a few pieces I could leave, but I suppose the beauty of short stories is that those end soon Overall, I enjoyed Frank s clear voice and the depth of emotion and strength of character contained in the stories Four stars of five.


  3. says:

    Not compelled to finish.


  4. says:

    Lovely prose, describing confused people Every story is compelling and unpredictable How does Joan Frank dream up all these odd and troubled characters


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In Envy Country [PDF / EPUB] In Envy Country Set in Paris, California, Italy, and Spain, Joan Frank s second story collection explores the uncertainties and triumphs of women and men in and out of love and marriage, at varying ages and stages of Set in Paris, California, Italy, and Spain, Joan Frank s second story collection explores the uncertainties and triumphs of women and men in and out of love and marriage, at varying ages and stages of contemporary American life By turns wry, pained, and amused, In Envy Country investigates those small, complex truths that gain clarity with time and distance Joan Frank shows us ourselves Meticulously observed, with In Envy ePUB Ñ sentences that will make you stop and go back for another look Ehud Havazelet, author of Bearing the Body and Like Never Before These stories each have a wonderful, intimate feel Written with authority and intelligence, they are layered and subtleserious, and yet take us back to the sense of discovery reading them is fun Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me Nothing escaps Joan Frank her stories of not so innocent bystanders gleam with subtlety, intelligence, and sly wit Brian Morton, author of Breakable You and Starting Out in the EveningA worldly collection in all the best ways a writer of unusual wit, sophistication, and psychological insight reading these pages is a pleasure Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street.

    EPUB is an ebook file format Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me Nothing escaps Joan Frank her stories of not so innocent bystanders gleam with subtlety, intelligence, and sly wit Brian Morton, author of Breakable You and Starting Out in the EveningA worldly collection in all the best ways a writer of unusual wit, sophistication, and psychological insight reading these pages is a pleasure Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street."/>
  • Paperback
  • 184 pages
  • In Envy Country
  • Joan Frank
  • English
  • 20 January 2019
  • 9780268028886