Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

Book - 2009
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One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2009-- now adapted into the feature film Certain Women, starring Kristen Stewart-- award-winning writer Maile Meloy's short stories explore complex lives in an austere landscape with the clear-sightedness that first endeared her to readers. Don't miss her new novel, Do Not Become Alarmed .

Meloy's first return to short stories since her critically acclaimed debut, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It is an extraordinary new work from one of the most promising writers of the last decade.

Eleven unforgettable new stories demonstrate the emotional power and the clean, assured style that have earned Meloy praise from critics and devotion from readers. Propelled by a terrific instinct for storytelling, and concerned with the convolutions of modern love and the importance of place, this collection is about the battlefields-and fields of victory-that exist in seemingly harmless spaces, in kitchens and living rooms and cars. Set mostly in the American West, the stories feature small-town lawyers, ranchers, doctors, parents, and children, and explore the moral quandaries of love, family, and friendship. A ranch hand falls for a recent law school graduate who appears unexpectedly- and reluctantly-in his remote Montana town. A young father opens his door to find his dead grandmother standing on the front step. Two women weigh love and betrayal during an early snow. Throughout the book, Meloy examines the tensions between having and wanting, as her characters try to keep hold of opposing forces in their lives: innocence and experience, risk and stability, fidelity and desire.

Knowing, sly, and bittersweet, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It confirms Maile Meloy's singular literary talent. Her lean, controlled prose, full of insight and unexpected poignancy, is the perfect complement to her powerfully moving storytelling.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9781594488696
Branch Call Number: FICTION Meloy Maile 07/2009
Characteristics: 219 p. ;,22 cm.


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Eleven unforgettable new stories demonstrate the emotional power and the clean, assured style that have earned Meloy praise from critics and devotion from readers.

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TSCPL_Miranda Jul 27, 2017

I struggled between a 4 and 5 star rating on this collection. Every story was interesting and well crafted, but I also felt like almost every story left me hanging. It's actually a good thing that the stories were so great that I wanted more, ha. It also must be said that my feeling of appreciating the skill of the short story artist and yet wanting more than I was given fits in with the title and the theme of the collection beautifully.

Mar 09, 2017

I thought the stories and the characters were uninteresting and flat. I was hoping to feel differently about it, because I like two of her novels: Liars and Saints, and The Apothecary.

Mar 08, 2017

the title is the best thing in this collection.
I disagree with the review above as I found the tone and style unchanging, the voice pretty much the same in all the stories.

Dec 22, 2015

Reviewed In O Magazine - July 2010.

Crheneghan Feb 03, 2011

I loved the tension in these short stories. There is a cost to everything, and the characters in these must deal with these costs. This was one of my favorite books from 2010.


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Crheneghan Feb 03, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Crheneghan Feb 03, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Crheneghan Feb 03, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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Sep 05, 2010

They were bound like two dogs with their tails tied together, unable to move without having some opposite effect on the other, unable to live a single restful minute without feeling the inevitable tug.

Sep 05, 2010

They had vague dreams of improvement for their sons, but no ideas about how to achieve them.


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Crheneghan Feb 03, 2011


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