Honorable Mention, 2006 The Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Award
For decades, Richard Stern has been acclaimed as one of the American masters of the short story. Almonds to Zhoof: Collected Stories brings together for the first time forty-nine of Stern's best short works and novellas-from "Dr. Cahn's Visit," which The New Republic praised as "the very best very short story in the English language," to classics like "Teeth" and "Wanderers."
Stern's stories-witty, moving, always full of energy-never sacrifice storytelling to mere elegance or wandering wisdom. This collection demonstrates Stern's astonishing ability to portray people from all walks of life, their flawed relationships to ideas, their sometimes bizarre relationships with lovers and friends, their often brilliant, if skewed, appraisals of themselves. The stories always reflect an abiding compassion for his characters whoever they are and whatever their origins. All exist within the politics and workplaces and bedrooms of the real world. All are incorrigibly human.
"Stern is a great virtuoso. [I]n an ailing literary culture, we should be grateful for a work like this and a career, too, spanning the American half-century." —New York Times Book Review
"Like a gifted dancer in a small space, Stern has tremendous grace and ease on the page, executing dynamic turns and dips with a fine economy of motion and without sacrificing nuance. And there's a toughness here, a fighter's willingness to face life's cruelty even as he appreciates its resiliency and pleasures." —Booklist
"Richard Stern has written some of the most distinctive and important American stories of the last 50 years." —Forward