Your Duck is My Duck ~ Deborah Eisenberg

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At times raucously hilarious, at times charming and delightful, at times as solemn and mysterious as a pond at midnight, Deborah Eisenberg’s stories gently compel us to confront the most disturbing truths about ourselves—from our intimate lives as lovers, parents, and children, to our equally troubling roles as citizens on a violent, terrifying planet.

Each of the six stories in Your Duck is My Duck, her first collection since 2006, has the heft and complexity of a novel. With her own inexorable but utterly unpredictable logic and her almost uncanny ability to conjure the strange states of mind and emotion that constitute our daily consciousness, Eisenberg pulls us as if by gossamer threads through her characters—a tormented woman whose face determines her destiny; a group of film actors shocked to read a book about their past; a privileged young man who unexpectedly falls into a love affair with a human rights worker caught up in an all-consuming quest that he doesn’t understand.

In Eisenberg’s world, the forces of money, sex, and power cannot be escaped, and the force of history, whether confronted or denied, cannot be evaded. No one writes better about time, tragedy and grief, and the indifferent but beautiful universe around us.

Deborah Eisenberg is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the recipient of honors including the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Eisenberg has published four collections of stories: Transactions in a Foreign Currency (1986), Under the 82nd Airborne (1992), All Around Atlantis (1997), and Twilight of the Superheroes (2006). Her first two story collections were republished in one volume as The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg (1997). All four volumes were reprinted in 2010 in The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (2010). She is a professor of writing at Columbia University.

Further reading

Read: The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor, The New Yorker

Review: Deborah Eisenberg’s Your Duck is My Duck: incendiary, essential short stories, New Statesman

Prompt: Trawl through today’s headlines and pick three headlines at random. Now go to your wardrobe and choose three pieces clothing and note these down next to each headline. Now write three lines for each and see where it leads.

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