The Reasons I Won't be Coming by Elliot Perlman

Elliot Perlman's collection of short stories, The Reasons I Won't Be Coming (2000 in Australia, 2006 in the U.S.), is eclectic and entertaining. Perlman has a talent for making varied voices seem authentic, and their stories are all thought-provoking and somewhat dark.

My favorite entry is the relatively lengthy A Tale in Two Cities, with the cities in question being Moscow and Melbourne, as a Russian Jewish family makes the transition to a new life. Not surprisingly, part of the family (mother and the narrator daughter) adapts well while part of the family (father and son) struggles. This story could easily have carried a full-length novel.

My overall personal rating of The Reasons I Won't Be Coming is a B+.


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