Title: Varieties of Disturbance
Date Completed: 12-6
Varieties of Disturbance was one of five books short-listed for the 2007 National Book Award for fiction. It is described, on the back cover, as “fifty-seven rule-breaking short stories.”
The count may be correct. Rules have been broken. But these are not short stories. I am not at all certain what they are. Some are amusing in a trifling way. Some cute in an annoying way. Most are boring.
I think it’s someone’s idea of joke.
Jeremy Janes, editor of The Power of Experience, was a co-worker and friend. Jeremy lived in
Jeremy died in 2006 without ever having seen The Power of Experience. I remember his excitement that the Publications team at AARP (where we worked) had agreed to publish his book, subtitled “Great Writers Over 50 on the Quest for a Lifetime of Meaning.”
Jeremy did a terrific job with this anthology, tapping a variety of sources and writers. Anne Tyler is here. As is Amy Tan. Robert Stone. Elmore Leonard. Frederick Busch and Richard Russo.
It’s a good read and a terrific legacy of a life well-lived.