Search >>
Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
National Book Award
National Book Award for Fiction
National Book Award for Nonfiction
Man Booker Prize
Man Booker Prize
New York Times Best Books
New York Times Best Fiction Books of the Year
New York Times Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
LA Times Book Prize
LA Times Book Prize for Fiction
TIME Magazine Best Books
TIME Magazine Best Fiction Books of the Year
TIME Magazine Best Nonfiction Books of the Year Best Books Best Books of the Year
ALA Notable Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction
ALA Notable Books - Nonfiction
PEN/Faulkner Award
Pen/Faulkner Award
100 Best Novels
The Novel 100: The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time
Modern Library 100 Best Novels of the Century
FAW Best Books of the Year
Best Books of the Decade
Best Books of 2016
Best Books of 2015
Best Books of 2014
Best Books of 2013
Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2011
Best Books of 2010
Best Books of 2009
Best Books of 2008
Best Books of 2007
Best Books of 2006
Best Books of 2005
Best Books of 2004
Best Books of 2003
Best Books of 2002
Best Books of 2001
Best Books of 2000
Best Books of 1999
Best Books of 1998
Best Books of 1997
Author Honors
New Yorker 20 Under 40 (2010)
New Yorker Twenty Best Young Fiction Writers in America (1999)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (2007)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (1996)
Granta Best of Young British Novelists (2003)
MacArthur Fellows in Fiction
National Book Foundation 5 Under 35

Who Do You Love?: Stories

Who Do You Love?: Stories by Jean Thompson
22 reviews (1999) (320p)
National Book Award Finalist

Visit this book's page >>

Book Description

In this acclaimed collection, Jean Thompson limns the lives of ordinary people -- a lonely social worker, a down-and-out junkie, a divorced cop on the night shift -- to extraordinary effect. With wisdom and sympathy and spare eloquence, she writes of their inarticulate longings for communion and grace.Yet even the saddest situations are imbued with Thompson¹s characteristic humor and a wry glimmer of hope. With Who Do You Love, readers will discover a writer with rare insight into the resiliency of the human spirit and the complexities of love. Review
Unrequited love is an old standard, but in Who Do You Love Jean Thompson hauls it out of the hope chest and makes it new. Her territory is the passionate, off-kilter intersection between women and men who have long ago resigned themselves to lovelessness and deep disappointment. In her third collection of short stories, people "don't say that much, but don't expect to. The old grievances, failure, and shame are turning into history, inch by inch." Not that they don't struggle against their fates. A policeman answers a routine call and looks to make a difference in a single mother's life, to ruinous consequences. A widower is forced to put his house up for sale, and proceeds to haunt the young couple who move in with his unending grief. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, a young girl witnesses the battle raging in her house between her veteran father and patriotic mother.

Thompson skinny-dips into her characters' skulls. We eavesdrop on their most private thoughts, their justifications and reversals of conscience, as they weigh fleeting passions against long-term longings. Anyone want to place a wager on what wins out in the end? While they lazily play out moments of moral turpitude in unassuming settings, these characters observe the scenery with a constant supply of devastating dialogue. Witness Benny in "The Little Heart," as she carries on a conversation with Pete, a lover half her age: "You are the most beautiful creature. Hush. You are. I'm crazy about you. Throwing caution to the winds here." Lesser writers would stop right there, leaving the passage flat and artless, but listen to the bomb Thompson drops in the very next line: "Do you know I've been menstruating for longer than you've been alive?" Who Do You Love can occasionally fall into the variations-on-a-theme category, but there's nothing tedious here. Thompson's prose is often witty and her delvings into seaminess--drugs, flings, futile jobs--are never patronizing or sensational. In her world there's always a little room left over at the end for grace. --Ryan Boudinot

Jean Thompson Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 1 Who Do You Love?: Stories ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award


Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact