SHORT STORIES

The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story

. October 2012. 224p. 978-0-30795-888-4. 24.95.
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Intriguingly, this collection and the seven stories within it all share the same title, but locale is not what links them—in one story, set in a boarding school, the phrase is merely a Spanish teacher’s tagline. Rather, the stories all are poignant and insightful, dealing with age, infirmity, and loss, or with love occurring late in life. The protagonists are mature women of independent means, who’ve led cultured, interesting lives, or they are younger persons whom we see from the vantage point of later life. Wickersham is as skilled as Alice Munro in maneuvering her characters, and the reader, through time. Characters and situations are revealed almost offhandedly, through conversation or minor revelation, or perhaps not at all. In one of the collection’s best, we never learn exactly why a former star ballerina is now confined to a wheelchair, but we see intimately how immobility circumscribes her life.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of modern short fiction.

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