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Alone With You

Alone With You

Stories

  • reading group guide
Marisa Silver dazzled and inspired readers with her critically acclaimed The God of War (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist), praised by Richard Russo as “a novel of great metaphorical depth and beauty.” In this elegant, finely wrought new collection, Alone With You, Silver has created eight indelible stories that mine the complexities of modern relationships and the unexpected ways love manifests itself. Her brilliantly etched characters confront life’s abrupt and unsettling changes with fear, courage, humor, and overwhelming grace.

In the O. Henry Prize–winning story “The Visitor,” a VA hospital nurse’s aide contends with a family ghost and discovers the ways in which her own past haunts her. The reticent father in “Pond” is confronted with a Solomonic choice that pits his love for his daughter against his feelings for her young son. In “Night Train to Frankfurt,” first published in The New Yorker, a daughter travels to an alternative-medicine clinic in Germany in a gambit to save her mother’s life. And in the title story, a woman vacations in Morocco with her family while contemplating a decision that will both ruin and liberate them all.

From “Temporary,” where a young woman confronts the ephemeral nature of companionship, to “Three Girls,” in which sisters trapped in a snowstorm recognize the boundaries of childhood, the nuanced voices of Alone With You bear the hallmarks of an instant classic from a writer with unerring talent and imaginative resource. Silver has the extraordinary ability to render her fictional inhabitants instantly relatable, in all their imperfections. Her stories have the singular quality of looking in a mirror. We see at once what is familiar and what is strange. In these stirring narratives, we meet ourselves anew.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416593867 | 
  • April 2010
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Author Marisa Silver wants to be ALONE WITH YOU

Author of The God of War, Marisa Silver's extraordinary book, Alone With You, is a starkly elegant and superbly rendered collection of short stories.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Alone With You includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Marisa Silver. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Marisa Silver returns with an indelible collection of eight stories that mine the complexities of familial relationships and the surprising ways love manifests itself in our lives. In Alone With You, her brilliantly etched characters struggle to deal with life’s abrupt and painful changes. Silver has the signature talent of rendering her fictional inhabitants instantly relatable, in all their imperfections. Through them she powerfully underscores our own unquenchable need for connection.

Discussion Questions

1. In “Temporary,” Vivian seems content and almost revels in mediocrity. She remembers being labeled by an advisor as a “below-the-radar kind of girl” (p. 4), yet this does not seem to bother her. Why does she continually seek transience and lack motivation?

2. Talk about the temporary things in Vivian’s life – her living situation, her job, her friends. How do they shape her? What kind of person is she?

3. Why does Candy take see more

More Books from this Author

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About the Author

Marisa Silver
Bader Howar

Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is the author of the novels The God of War (a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), and No Direction Home. She made her fiction debut in The New Yorker when she appeared in the inaugural Debut Fiction issue. Her collection of stories, Babe in Paradise, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Silver's work has been included in Best American Short Stories and the O. Henry Prize Stories. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her on the Web at www.marisasilver.com.

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