How to Breathe Under Water : Stories, Paperback Book

How to Breathe Under Water : Stories Paperback

5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In her dazzling first book Julie Orringer dives into the private world of childhood and immerses us in its fears and longings: the jealous friendships and the bitter sibling battles; the parents that row and the boys that won't dance with you.

Then, in a voice that is equally tender and compassionate, she reminds us of those rare, exhilarating moments of victory. 'Unbelievably good: the humiliations and cruelties and passions of childhood, sparkling fresh prose, a writer with a big heart and an acute sense of the small things that loom large in our lives' Monica Ali, Guardian




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An impressive debut with nine emotionally engaging stories about adolescent American girls and young women, many involving Jewish backgrounds.My favourite, and it is difficult as they are all excellent, is The Isabel Fish, which tells, with skillful use of flashbacks, the relationship between a brother and sister after the sister escapes a car driven into a lake by the brother's girlfriend, who dies in the accident. The amount of story and emotion compressed into 30 pages is breathtaking.

Review by

I am not ordinarily an avid reader of short fiction. However, this collection is outstanding. I couldn't put it down. The stories are devastating, wry, and beautifully crafted. The protagonists--all women on the border between childhood and adolescence; between adolescence and young adulthood--experience (and inflict) violence, guilt, and isolation. They're occasionally blessed by small moments of grace. I found this collection deeply moving; I recognized myself and other women I've known within these stories, and found myself surprised into tears by several of them.