"Tales much like the poetry Hempel quotes: imagistic with no emotional or aesthetic heft, nor even a particular sensitivity to language."
Hempel's third volume of precious miniatures (At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, 1990, etc.) includes a novella that reads like an inflated version of its short, fragile companion pieces, one no more than a paragraph long.
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"These stories are less reflective of the state of Southern fiction than the state of the contemporary short story. 'Though one's sense of geography is keen,' writes Hempel, 'it's hard to feel that there is much that separates us after reading the stories collected here.'"
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