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In Envy Country

P01352
P01352
Series
Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction
Awards

Winner of the 2010 Richard Sullivan Prize in Fiction

Winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2010 Book of the Year Award, Short Stories Category

Categories

In Envy Country

Stories

Joan Frank

Winner of the 2010 Richard Sullivan Prize in Fiction, Joan Frank’s second story collection, In Envy Country, 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. Frank, whose earlier books have been reviewed in The New York Times Book Review and Publisher’s Weekly, sets these stories in Paris, California, and Spain.

“In In Envy Country, Joan Frank shows us ourselves: the way we dress and eat, the places we inhabit, the relationships we forge, squander, hang onto. More, she shows us the dark underpinnings of these solaces and daily strivings, the times we lose what is best in us, or recall it, or realize we never valued it fully enough when we had the chance. Meticulously observed, with 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, as though the narrator is whispering in our ear at the start of each one, ‘You won’t believe what I heard.’ Written with authority and intelligence, they are layered and subtle, and we believe them all, gaining a new appreciation for the idea that what appears to be one thing—is many others. They are serious, and yet take us back to the sense of discovery; reading them is fun.” — Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me

“Admirers of the work of Anita Brookner will rejoice to discover an American literary cousin. Nothing escapes 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 Evening

“A worldly collection in all the b*est 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

ISBN: 978-0-268-02888-6
186 pages
Publication Year: 2010

Pdf   Download Table of Contents

n addition to her many published short stories, Joan Frank is the author of two novels, Miss Kansas City, which won the Michigan Literary Fiction Award, and The Great Far Away, and a book of short fiction, Boys Keep Being Born. She lives in Northern California.

“Bay Area writer Joan Frank’s fourth work of fiction, the very readable new collection In Envy Country . . . offers the pleasures of a gossipy chat with an astute and clever friend. This friend also has a dark wit, a playful way with language and imagery and does not suffer fools gladly. . . . Joan Frank is a shrewd and, yes, frank observer both of people with money and people wanting it. Her sharp portraits and original way with words make these stories surprising and rewarding.” — Elizabeth Fishel, San Francisco Chronicle

“The stories in Joan Frank’s collection, In Envy Country, are bitingly ironic, provocative scenes of contemporary life, so complete that they will satisfy readers who typically grab 400-page novels. . . . These stories . . . are powerfully connected in content and tone, since each is reflected through an observing narrator, always a woman, who ponders the complexities of life around her. . . . The art of these stories is in their telling, and even in the saddest of them, Frank hits precisely the right note. . . .Telling a story is an act of faith. And Joan Frank, a perceptive, funny, and wise onlooker, skillfully reminds us that our job as readers is to pay attention.” — The Boston Globe

“The uneasy balance of power between male and female binds this sharp collection of stories . . . Frank works every aspect of these feminist stories with relentless energy, and readers will be sure to pay attention.” — Publishers Weekly

“Literary short story lovers who admire the complex seamless architecture of a muscular sentence will find much to approve in Joan Frank’s collection, In Envy Country. But the author’s precise and artful prose is there to perform a duty; it’s a steadfast craft for a cast of wildly mottled characters. The seas are never calm, and when they momentarily appear so, Frank reveals the outlines of what hovers below. These nine stories, on their face about what is observed, in close-up reveal that what is left undetected, undone, and unimagined is what resonates. . .”. — ForeWord Magazine

“Reading a short story by Santa Rosa author Joan Frank is like confessing a terrible secret to your best friend. You’ve got to go through the dark tunnel of truth, but there’s a light at the other end, promising comfort. And you know you’re not alone. . . . In In Envy Country, Frank limns the intricacies of contemporary relationships—men and women in and out of love and marriage—exploring their most intimate secrets from a wry distance.” — The Press Democrat

“There is 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.” — coffeespew

In Envy Country by Joan Frank … tackle[s] the universal subjects of domesticity: marriage, babies, husbands, wives, meals, and work. Dirty diapers and disillusioned homemakers still exist; however, housewifery clichés do not. . . . Frank explore[s] the complexities of human emotion and action with humor, nuance, and acuity, using slightly unconventional narrative constructs.” — American Book Review

Pdf   Download Excerpt

P01565

Because You Have To

A Writing Life

Joan Frank

P03199

St. Patrick's Day

another day in Dublin

Thomas McGonigle

P03200

Loss and Gain

The Story of a Convert

John Henry Newman
Edited and Introduced by Sheridan Gilley

P03143

What I Found Out About Her

Stories of Dreaming Americans

Peter LaSalle

In Envy Country

Stories

Joan Frank

 In Envy Country: Stories
Paper Edition

Winner of the 2010 Richard Sullivan Prize in Fiction, Joan Frank’s second story collection, In Envy Country, 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. Frank, whose earlier books have been reviewed in The New York Times Book Review and Publisher’s Weekly, sets these stories in Paris, California, and Spain.

“In In Envy Country, Joan Frank shows us ourselves: the way we dress and eat, the places we inhabit, the relationships we forge, squander, hang onto. More, she shows us the dark underpinnings of these solaces and daily strivings, the times we lose what is best in us, or recall it, or realize we never valued it fully enough when we had the chance. Meticulously observed, with 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, as though the narrator is whispering in our ear at the start of each one, ‘You won’t believe what I heard.’ Written with authority and intelligence, they are layered and subtle, and we believe them all, gaining a new appreciation for the idea that what appears to be one thing—is many others. They are serious, and yet take us back to the sense of discovery; reading them is fun.” — Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me

“Admirers of the work of Anita Brookner will rejoice to discover an American literary cousin. Nothing escapes 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 Evening

“A worldly collection in all the b*est 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

ISBN: 978-0-268-02888-6

186 pages

“Bay Area writer Joan Frank’s fourth work of fiction, the very readable new collection In Envy Country . . . offers the pleasures of a gossipy chat with an astute and clever friend. This friend also has a dark wit, a playful way with language and imagery and does not suffer fools gladly. . . . Joan Frank is a shrewd and, yes, frank observer both of people with money and people wanting it. Her sharp portraits and original way with words make these stories surprising and rewarding.” — Elizabeth Fishel, San Francisco Chronicle

“The stories in Joan Frank’s collection, In Envy Country, are bitingly ironic, provocative scenes of contemporary life, so complete that they will satisfy readers who typically grab 400-page novels. . . . These stories . . . are powerfully connected in content and tone, since each is reflected through an observing narrator, always a woman, who ponders the complexities of life around her. . . . The art of these stories is in their telling, and even in the saddest of them, Frank hits precisely the right note. . . .Telling a story is an act of faith. And Joan Frank, a perceptive, funny, and wise onlooker, skillfully reminds us that our job as readers is to pay attention.” — The Boston Globe

“The uneasy balance of power between male and female binds this sharp collection of stories . . . Frank works every aspect of these feminist stories with relentless energy, and readers will be sure to pay attention.” — Publishers Weekly

“Literary short story lovers who admire the complex seamless architecture of a muscular sentence will find much to approve in Joan Frank’s collection, In Envy Country. But the author’s precise and artful prose is there to perform a duty; it’s a steadfast craft for a cast of wildly mottled characters. The seas are never calm, and when they momentarily appear so, Frank reveals the outlines of what hovers below. These nine stories, on their face about what is observed, in close-up reveal that what is left undetected, undone, and unimagined is what resonates. . .”. — ForeWord Magazine

“Reading a short story by Santa Rosa author Joan Frank is like confessing a terrible secret to your best friend. You’ve got to go through the dark tunnel of truth, but there’s a light at the other end, promising comfort. And you know you’re not alone. . . . In In Envy Country, Frank limns the intricacies of contemporary relationships—men and women in and out of love and marriage—exploring their most intimate secrets from a wry distance.” — The Press Democrat

“There is 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.” — coffeespew

In Envy Country by Joan Frank … tackle[s] the universal subjects of domesticity: marriage, babies, husbands, wives, meals, and work. Dirty diapers and disillusioned homemakers still exist; however, housewifery clichés do not. . . . Frank explore[s] the complexities of human emotion and action with humor, nuance, and acuity, using slightly unconventional narrative constructs.” — American Book Review

Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction

Winner of the 2010 Richard Sullivan Prize in FictionWinner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2010 Book of the Year Award, Short Stories Category