Women Drinking Benedictine

Sharon Dilworth

“Sharon Dilworth has a remarkable eye for social behavior, particularly the repertoire of lame excuses people tend to offer when caught performing guilty pleasures. Her stories, distantly related to Raymond Carver’s on the one hand and Lorrie Moore’s on the other, tend to have characters who are feeling a sort of urbane despair. . . . These (mostly) middle-class characters handle this despair by projecting a wisecracking attitude, a sort of breezy wit deployed in the service of getting from day to day. . . . The pace of the stories is rather startling; almost without exception, they move swiftly and are always vivid. . . . They have great immediacy.” —Charles Baxter, author of Shadow Play

“Sharon Dilworth is a master of the short story form. [She] certainly belongs to a school of short-story writers who are among the best, and best known, writing today: Mary Gaitskill, Antonya Nelson, Lorrie Moore, Pam Houston. She shares their senses of irony as well as compassion, the cold eye for detail trained on real, loved, and beating hearts.” —Laura Kasischke, author of Suspicious River

Each of the ten stories in Sharon Dilworth’s new collection has its special appeal; better still, they come together to form a finely crafted and beautifully balanced whole. Dilworth’s fully realized landscapes range from Pittsburgh to Hawaii to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Europe. They are inhabited by women, men, friends, lovers, neighbors, parents, and children, all of whom remind us that life is rarely what we think it should be. At once poignant and wonderfully comic, Women Drinking Benedictine is a collection to be treasured.

Sharon Dilworth is an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the author of another collection of short stories, The Long White.

Oct 1998
168 pp. 5 ½ x 8 ½

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