TEASER TUESDAYS is hosted by MizB at Should be Reading; I’ve modified this version to allow more than two sentences from anywhere on the page:
- Grab your current read.
- Let the book fall open to a random page.
- Share with us one or two “teaser” sentences” from that page. Please share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
I’ve begun reading a collection of short fiction, Binocular Vision, from Edith Pearlman. Ms. Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short non-fiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and on-line publications. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Collection, New Stories from the South, and The Pushcart Prize Collection – Best of the Small Presses.
Here’s my teaser, the opening paragraphs of a story titled “Allog:”
Nobody liked to be seen there – not the middle-ages widower, not the Moroccan family, not the three old ladies.
The widower got too few letters.
The Moroccans got too many, all bills.
The soprano got some, enough, too much, too little; what did quantity matter. Every concert series in Jerusalem had her name on its list. Do-good societies would not leave her in peace. But the one letter she craved rarely appeared, and when it did come it was only a thin blue square, as if it had been first ironed and then frozen. She extended her palm, the missive floating on it. Decades ago she had indicated with the same gracious gesture, after sufficient applause, that her accompanist might now take a bow. The letter weighed less than a peseta; inside would be perhaps four uninformative sentences in a jumble of Polish and Spanish. She might as well burn it unopened. Chin high, eyes dry, she climbed the stairs.
I’m loving this book of short stories! Can you see my dilemma, with where to end the teaser?! Each sentence is a pearl!
I considered ending after the first; that image of mailboxes ashamed to be so close and exposed.
Then I moved to the descriptions of the people who lived in the building, the type of mail received by the widower and Moroccans; this, too, intrigued me.
Finally, I had to include the paragraph about the soprano – we learn where the story is set, and become curious about this soprano. Has she fallen from stardom? Why does she wait for this unsatisfying letter? Why the mix of languages, and what does it say?!
What do you say? Does your incoming mail reflect on you? Do your magazine subscriptions show a private side of you? Do you believe your letter carrier judges you for the number of personal letters, bills, and brown-wrapped packages you receive?
Oh, and what are you reading this week?