FICTION

The House at Belle Fontaine: And Other Stories

Atlantic Monthly. May 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780802120168. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780802193612. F
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OrangeReviewStarWinner of the National Book Award for her novel The News from Paraguay, Tuck proves she is equally gifted in the short form with stories reaching far into the physical and emotional senses. Her characters travel from Paris to Peru and from Bangkok to Tuscany, often within the same story. One memorable narrative ventures even further by following a long-married couple on a cruise to Antarctica that evokes the chilly distance between them that has widened through the years. Other stories span the decades, going as far back (through myth and memory) to the reign of Genghis Khan, who may or may not be the ancestor of a fellow named Chingis, born in the Caucasus in 1925, who teaches horse riding to teenage girls in a New England town circa 1970.
VERDICT Tuck's agility and grace as a storyteller are quietly evident throughout her impressive collection. This is a writer at the top of her form.

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