Holds Alert: Pearlman
Finally Breaks Through

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Two years ago when Edith Perlman’s Binocular Vision(Lookout Books, 2011)  won the National Book Critics Circle Award after being a finalist for the National Book Award, The Millions explored why readers might view the author as an “overnight sensation,”even though she had published over 250 works of short fiction and four collections.

Even today, Pearlman remains an author many people might compare to George Saunders, in the sense that they are about to wonder why they had not heard of her before.

Pearlman’s newest book, Honeydew, (Hachette/Little Brown, Jan. 2015; OverDrive Sample), has made the jump to a major publishing house and is dominating book coverage this week, days in advance of the book’s release date.

The New York Times Book Review features Pearlman as their cover story. Not to be outdone, the daily NYT runs a glowing portrait titled, “For Writer, Talent Finally Succeeds Where Chance Failed.” In it, her editor offers perhaps the best praise possible for a writer of character-centered fiction, “When I finish reading one of her stories, I always feel understood and somehow forgiven for being human.”

In addition, The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe all have posted reviews, following stars from Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Checking orders and holds around the country reveals that some libraries have not yet ordered it and others have ordered too lightly, with holds ratios over 5:1.

It is difficult for short story collections to gain traction, but Pearlman might have finally joined the ranks of George Saunders, Karen Russell, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro.

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