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Wendy Lesser

  • The great novels draw you in entirely, it seems, so that while you are reading them you forget you ever had another life. But the great short stories, in my experience, keep you balanced in mid-air, suspended somewhere between the world you normally inhabit and the world briefly illuminated by the author. You see them both at once and you feel them both at once: The emotions generated in you by the story carry over instantly and applicably to the life outside the book. This is why the best short stories can afford to be inconclusive. You, the reader, complete them by joining them back to your life — a life that, because it too is inconclusive, enables you to recognize the truth of the fictional pattern.

    • Wendy Lesser,
    • in The New York Times Book Review ()
  • Half-truths can be more pernicious than outright falsehoods.

    • Wendy Lesser,
    • "Who's Afraid of Arnold Bennett?" New York Times ()

Wendy Lesser, U.S. writer, editor, critic