Asking for Love

Asking for Love

by Roxana Robinson
Short stories of upper-class domestic life by an award-winning literary talent: “Asking for Love delighted me no end” (Alice Munro).

Whether it’s a woman who must accept the reality of her son growing up, or a daughter becoming disillusioned with her father, this moving collection expertly conveys the joys, doubts, fears, and endless contradictions that are inescapable parts of domestic life. In “Mr. Sumarsono,” included in The Best American Short Stories of 1994, a visiting Indonesian diplomat brings out the confidence and charm in a suburban divorcée, much to the surprise of her two young daughters; and in “Leaving Home” a teenage girl, stifled by her family’s rigid sense of virtue, attempts to reinvent herself during a summer vacation.

The everyday challenges of parenting, stepparenting, and familial love and loyalty take on great weight as the richly drawn characters of each story—fathers, mothers, children, lovers—face them with genuine need, strength, and confusion. Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to Maine, Connecticut, and Long Island, these stories showcase the trademark insight and tenderness with which Robinson explores divorce, remarriage, and families yearning to move on.

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