Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman


I will post more of Inly’s Summer Reading List tomorrow, but a change of subject to tell you about the Boston Authors Club Annual Book Awards Celebration which took place yesterday at the Boston Public Library. It was a lovely and memorable event, and I’m so grateful to the committee for naming Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg a finalist in the Young Reader category. It was an honor to be included with such a wonderful group of writers.  The complete list of award winners is here:

During the generous introduction of my book, I thought about how rewarding it is to see that Hank’s story has meaning for people. Several people told me that they heard about Hank Greenberg when they were children, and that they were happy to learn more about him.  

The highlight of the ceremony was meeting Edith Pearlman, the author of Binocular Vision, a book of short stories which won the Julia Ward Howe Prize. After reading all of the glowing reviews of her book (comparing her stories to those by Alice Munro and John Updike among others), I bought Pearlman’s book and put it aside to begin reading before yesterday’s event. As soon as I read the first one (randomly selecting a story called Mates), I knew this was something different. I still have four or five stories to read, and I want to read them as much as I don’t want to read them. I just don’t want this book to be over. But I don’t think it will ever be over. There is so much to discover in further readings. As Ann Patchett writes in her introduction to Binocular Vision, “What you have in your hands now is a treasure, a book you could take to a desert island knowing that every time you got to the end you could simply turn to the front cover and start it all again.” 

I wouldn’t suggest buying this book for your e-reader or even checking it out from the library. It’s the kind of thing you’re going to want to hold and keep.

So, yesterday, I saw Pearlman standing there after the ceremony and it was one of those awe-struck moments – knowing that she had created all of the worlds in Binocular Vision with such compassion. When I went to say hello (and ask her to sign my book) she was warm and kind, and meeting her was a highlight of my travels in the world of books.


2 thoughts on “Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman

  1. Shelley – as usual, beautifully written. Despite the fact that I am not a fan of short stories (because I don’t want a good story to be short!), I will be sure to read “Binocular Vision”.

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