Living in the Weather of the World.
Booklist Reviews 2017 March #2
Bausch is well versed in the wildly divergent weather of our psyches. The author of a dozen novels, including Before, During, After (2014), he presents his latest reports on the climate of emotions in his ninth book of short stories, a galvanizing collection charting the chill and heat, storms and droughts of marriage and family life. When a long-divorced real-estate agent finally tries online dating, the man she meets for dinner can't stop crying about his dead wife. A cheating husband dies in the act. After her rude and miserable sister-in-law destroys her honeymoon, a woman finds grim amusement in a sign that from a certain angle reads, "Hotel Macabre." A man caught in the rain on his way to what will be a surprisingly revealing encounter with his nearly unknown half-sister thinks, "this was life in the world: getting yourself drenched even with an umbrella." With extraordinary gifts for quickly establishing intricately complex and affecting personalities, creating authentically spiky and sputtering dialogue, and tracking the bruising collisions of volatile and failing relationships, Bausch is a profoundly clarifying meteorologist of the soul. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 November #1
PEN/Malamud Award winner Bausch has been called a master of the short story by the New York Times Book Review. These 13 pieces plumb the uncertainty of love, the depths of the soul, and the distances that can separate us. With a four-city tour.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2017 April #2
This superb collection of short fiction by Bausch (Peace; Something Is Out There) offers readers a disturbing portrait of contemporary America—tragically compromised, listless, and at war with itself. Most of the main characters in these stories drift helplessly into and out of disastrous personal and romantic relationships, and much of the action is driven by lies, boredom, and petty self-interest. Lethal violence blossoms early one morning on the streets outside a bar in "Veterans." A husband abandons his loving wife for a torrid affair with a young woman who is married to a wealthy 80-year-old man in "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire." In "We Belong Together," a philandering husband loses both his wife and his lover in a matter of minutes. There is psychological and physical violence in many of the stories, as well as profound loneliness and disillusionment.
PW Reviews 2017 March #1
In this masterly collection of short fiction, ordinary circumstances often become consequential turning points. The book's apt title is not that of any individual story, but a description of the terrain Bausch's characters inhabit. A first meeting is the focus of both "The Bridge to China" and "Map Reading," the former a midlife blind date and the latter a first meeting between unlikely half-siblings of different generations. In "Walking Distance," a young husband hurtles into a dangerous encounter after a fight with his wife. This plot has high potential for melodrama or the trite conventions of genre fiction, but Bausch writes with such authority and transparency that the story offers surprising insight and feels entirely believable. It's a diverse collection: a couple of the 14 stories are short enough to be deemed flash fiction, and two long stories have the depth and scope of novels. "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire" tracks the small but significant developments in a complex romantic relationship. "Still Here, Still There" stretches over 70 years in the lives of two World War II veterans and their relationship. This is a sublime collection.