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Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories

Binocular Vision should be the book with which Edith Pearlman casts off her secret-handshake status and takes up her rightful position as a national treasure. Put her stories beside those of John Updike and Alice Munro. That’s where they belong.”

Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto, from the Introduction



National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, winner
PEN/Malamud Award
National Book Award, finalist
The Story Prize, finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Prize, finalist

In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these twenty-one vintage selected stories and thirteen scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.

No matter the situation in which her characters find themselves—an unforeseen love affair between adolescent cousins, a lifetime of memories unearthed by an elderly couple’s decision to shoplift, the deathbed secret of a young girl’s forbidden forest tryst with the tsar, the danger that befalls a wealthy couple’s child in a European inn of misfits—Edith Pearlman conveys their experience with wit and aplomb, with relentless but clear-eyed optimism, and with a supple prose that reminds us, sentence by sentence, page by page, of the gifts our greatest verbal innovators can bestow.

Binocular Vision reveals a true American original, a master of the story, showing us, with her classic sensibility and lasting artistry, the cruelties, the longings, and the rituals that connect human beings across space and time.

Download reading guide ISBN: 9780982338292
Price: $18.95
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 387
Format: Trade paper with French flaps
Story collection


“Her writing is intelligent, perceptive, funny, and quite beautiful . . . Pearlman’s view of the world is large and compassionate, delivered through small, beautifully precise moments . . . The volume is an excellent introduction to a writer who should not need one. Maybe from now on everyone will know of Edith Pearlman.”

Roxana Robinson, New York Times Book Review

Editors’ Choice



“All of the pieces here have been exquisitely arranged to make this book . . . The effect is not so much of a sampling as of a suite . . . [Binocular Vision] enacts a worldview in thirty-four precise and subtle movements, reminding us that if connection is elusive, there is nobility in perseverance, and that we are almost always greater than the sum of our parts.”

David Ulin, Los Angeles Times



“There is a vast difference between reading Pearlman’s stories in a magazine or anthology and reading this collection . . . Depictions of people, places, and manners are so perfect that the stories become totally immersive . . . Give this wonderful collection to fans of such classic short story writers as Andre Dubus and Alice Munro and novelists like Nicole Krauss. They will thank you.”

Booklist, starred review



“A finely tuned collection by writer’s writer Edith Pearlman combines the best of previous collections with austere, polished new work  . . . This should win new converts for Pearlman.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review


About the Author

Edith Pearlman’s new and selected story collection, Binocular Vision, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Story Prize. The author of three other story collections, including the New York Times bestseller Honeydew, she has also received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Her widely admired stories have been reprinted numerous times in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize. A New Englander by both birth and preference, Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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