February 08, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST

Night Train

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lise Erdrich
publisher
Coffee House Press
genre
Short Stories, Fiction

A stoic, ascetic writer, Lise Erdrich (sister of novelist Louise) spares no sentiment for the characters that inhabit her stories in Night Train, set in the desolate landscape of the towns and Indian reservations of North Dakota and Minnesota. The uneven collection?s most powerful moments focus on alienation: A newlywed sits with her husband in a diner, allowing herself to briefly wonder about ”What will never be”; a long-wed couple?s chasm is widened by the events that lead to a broken screen door. At her sharpest, Erdrich?s tales are hauntingly bleak and brittle, but too often they are simply bleak and boring. B?

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