A Permanent Member of the Family

A Permanent Member of the Family

Suffused with Russell Banks’s trademark lyricism and reckless humor, the twelve stories in A Permanent Member of the Family examine the myriad ways we try—and sometimes fail—to connect with one another, as we seek a home in the world.

In the title story, a father looks back on the legend of the cherished family dog whose divided loyalties mirrored the fragmenting of his marriage. “A Former Marine” asks, to chilling effect, if one can ever stop being a parent.… (more)

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Editorial reviews (7 reviews)

In the more powerful tales, Mr. Banks uses his sturdy gifts as a writer — his plain-spoken language, his sympathy for the downtrodden and depressed, his eye for detail (those unstrapped shoes, flipped off Ellen’s feet) — to give us visceral portraits of people trying to make sense of the past and the present.

Compared with the spacious, carefully plotted novels - beautiful books about terrible things - the stories occasionally feel gruff and abrupt, willfully harsh and unlovely, like old arguments that erupt between men and women who sleep together over time.

Banks's stolid, straightforward prose works well in constructing a novel, where a slow, careful accretion of events leads to a gripping conclusion, but in the stories it comes across as bland or banal.

Book Details  

Publisher: Ecco (November 12, 2013)

Language: English

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