In News from Heaven, Jennifer Haigh—bestselling author of Faith and The Condition—returns to the territory of her acclaimed novel Baker Towers with a collection of short stories set in and around the fictionalized coal-mining town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania.
Exploring themes of restlessness, regret, redemption and acceptance, Jennifer Haigh depicts men and women of different generations shaped by dreams and haunted by disappointments.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times has called Haigh's Bakerton stories "utterly, entrancingly alive on the page," comparable to Richard Russo's Empire Falls.
“An uplifting and radiant book.”
“Elegant stories. . . . Haigh uses well-timed plot twists to infuse them with bright new energy.”
“A vibrant, thought-provoking, profoundly readable contribution to the genre. . . . Each of these ten linked stories represents a distinct, shining example of Haigh’s remarkable gifts for lyricism, psychological insight, and stealth humor.”
“Outstanding… News From Heaven fits quite comfortably in the company of the hybrid novel-in-stories made so popular by predecessors such as Jhumpa Lahiri…and Elizabeth Strout…For Haigh, this small town is a large canvas, one filled in with precise, poignant strokes.”
“Haigh has a fine eye for how time works on characters’ theories about themselves…. Haigh, whose first book won the PEN/Hemingway Award, has a sure grip on her characters and a belief in place as a determining factor in the shapes of our lives.”
“This collection of short stories shows depth, understanding and compassion. . . . Haigh’s narratives are beautifully realized stories of heartbreak, of qualified love, and of economic as well as personal depression.”
“Jennifer Haigh’s stories rove across time and cultures as easily as they render the tendernesses and longings and hardscrabble deprivations of home. NEWS FROM HEAVEN is well-named, given that its unsentimental compassion and observational acuity. . . is just what we need right now.”
“The characters in Jennifer Haigh’s NEWS FROM HEAVEN are so vividly drawn, the inner lives revealed so deftly, with such intelligence and sympathy, that fictional Bakerton, Pennsylvania, takes on the additional weight of, say, Winesburg, Ohio.”
“Jennifer Haigh has accomplished what James Joyce did in Dubliners and Sherwood Anderson in Winesburg, Ohio: render a place with such exactitude the landscape, character, and fate are inextricably linked. One of America’s finest novelists, Haigh is now one of our finest short story writers as well.”