The Witch Bottle and Other Stories
by Suzanne Feldman
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Pub Date 28 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2022
From Depression era Mississippi to the suburbs of modern America, to the trials and tribulations of smart young women struggling to make a name for themselves in the arts, Feldman delves deep into the dreams and emotions of regular people and makes them beautiful and accessible. This prize-winning collection of short stories and two novellas, offers entrancing tales of redemption, betrayal, tradition, and rebellion. These narratives range in mood from "The Lapedo Child," a tale of discovery and liberation, to "The Witch Bottle,” a comic examination of a pair of obsessed next-door neighbors. “Untitled Number 20” explores life among women artists at the end of the Flower Power era and the beginning of the Seventies. “The Stages” is a meditation on one woman’s struggle for dignity in the face of divorce and untreatable cancer.
Whether it’s the end of a marriage, or a struggle for fame, these works probe issues that give us that “shock of recognition” that is the hallmark of great art—wonderful, absorbing fiction that will be read and reread for decades to come.
Suzanne Feldman's uncanny gift for unwrapping the human experience to expose our gritty fears, our fierce loves, is enthrallingly on display in these gleaming stories. With flashes of sly wit and a refusal to flinch, these beautifully composed fictions stand with the best that contemporary fiction has to offer.
Elise Levine, author of Like This
Wide-ranging in subject matter and style, these stories are unwavering in their attention to human passions. Uplifting and heartbreaking moments go side by side in fiction as in life, and the punches come from the direction you least expect. Spending time Suzanne Feldman’s world is pure joy.
Olga Zilberbourg, author of Like Water and Other Stories
With writing that is sharp and engaging, The Witch Bottle deftly takes its readers through a variety of eras and regions and social settings, at each stop introducing us to new characters who all are desperate to belong. Through the stories in her collection, Suzanne Feldman subtly reminds us that while different periods and circumstances inevitably create their own unique challenges, at heart there is an underlying commonality in human experience that yearns for connection and understanding and meaning. It is being caught at that precise intersection of yearning and expectation that makes each of these stories in The Witch Bottle so affecting.
Adam Braver, author of November 22, 1963 and Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney
These are characters who have the courage to live by their ideals in order to honor their art and the values they regard as more important than traditional careers. In this way, Feldman’s characters show strength, toughness, and independence.
Adam Schwartz, Author of Rest of the World
These are all too human stories, with universal themes, revealing frailty and surprising courage. There is much to identify with and reflect upon in these stories and in the wisdom of Ms. Feldman's writings.
Michael T. Tusa Jr author of And Trouble Followed and A Second Chance at Dancing.
With sweeping historical vision and a natural storyteller's charm, Suzanne Feldman takes us on a joyride in The Witch Bottle. Each story will surprise in a different way, each story will thrill in manifold ways. What a fantastic collection.
Matt Gallagher, author of Empire City and Youngblood
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
A strong set of diverse stories. I can see the author's talent, and I look forward to her future work.
I really appreciate the free ARC for review!!
A very entertaining collection of short stories about the messy lives of artists and dreamers, The Witch Bottle And Other Stories by Suzanne Feldman is a gem of a book with brilliant, diverse characters and writing styles. Some of the stories here will make you laugh, some will make you cry and some will leave you with that aching feeling of loss that you get when you finish a really good book. Definitely recommend it!
The Witch Bottle and Other Stories is a well-written compilation of short stories, all which show the multi-faceted, messy, and complicated lives of people. Suzanne Feldman is great at capturing the art world and I enjoyed the stories centered around artists. "The Stages" was one of the stories that stuck with me the most: a particularly heart-wrenching story about a woman coming to grips with mortality.
This was the first time I have read anything from Feldman and I want to read more from her in the future.
I really love a good short story-and what a collection of special shorts! The true gem in this collection in my opinion is The Lapedo Child. Truly Southern Noir at its best. And I was especially pleased with The Witch Bottle - and loved that the main protagonist is the husband, so unlike most stereotypical fraidy cat stories - and Goat Island, which takes place in New Mexico, right around the corner at Elephant Butte Lake. Ms. Feldman paints Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte with a realistic but kindly brush. But these stories were all exceptional and thought-provoking. I shall add Susan Feldman to my 'Favorite Authors' list.
I received a complimentary ARC of this collection from Netgalley, the author Suzanne Feldman, and publisher, Washington Writers' Publishing House. Thank you for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this work of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
I have been a fan of Suzanne Feldman’s books for awhile so when I heard she had a collection of short stories, I was intrigued. I read this on kindle which causes an issue because the short stories started in certain pages and I couldn’t bring up the page numbers. The stories were also not clearly separated so if I wanted to read the third story first, it was hard to do. Book layout aside the short stories were interesting. I loved the first story, Untitled #20.
The cover is also beautiful. The yellow and green five off a serene vibe for the book, which fits with the stories. If you enjoy collections of stories about different things, you will enjoy this book.
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