Transgressions: Stories

Transgressions 300 Transgressions: Stories

In her wise and sexy col­lec­tion, Sallie Bingham exam­ines modern-day “trans­gres­sions” in affairs of the heart. She offers up a ménage à trois, an older woman’s affair with a stu­dent, a painter who uses his age as an excuse to behave indeco­rously. But the reader quickly dis­cov­ers the real trans­gres­sions are those of the self against the self.

In “The Pump,” a woman lies about her love life because she wor­ries that “aban­doned women look like dying witches.” In “The One True Place,” a gay cou­ple shel­ter a young man, though they under­stand he will erode their rela­tion­ship. Bingham’s sto­ries are told with a sober ret­i­cence and the author­ity of real-life ambi­gu­ity; con­fu­sions of desire and moral­ity, ambi­tion and regret under­lie each beau­ti­fully crafted tale.

Sallie Bingham brings to this book the skills of a pas­sion­ate clas­si­cist. In the man­ner of Chekhov, the grand events of a life com­pete for atten­tion with the dirty lit­ter box, the just-noticed aging spots on a character’s hand, the casual remark that changes every­thing. Again and again we are star­tled by such seem­ingly hum­ble jux­ta­po­si­tions. There is ter­rific grav­ity to these calmly told stories.

Transgressions marks an impor­tant mile­stone in this dis­tin­guished writer’s career.

From the jacket

“These are mar­velous sto­ries of expe­ri­ence and have the ripeness of wry, hard-won wis­dom.”
— Phillip Lopate

“Ms. Bingham writes with an aus­tere unerr­ing knowl­edge of what it is to be human—and trans­gres­sive.”
— Paula Fox

“This is a wise and lovely col­lec­tion.”
— Robin Morgan


“…an impres­sive col­lec­tion of short fic­tion that finds aging men and women in a vari­ety of erotic and emo­tional sce­nar­ios. The range is note­wor­thy.”
Publishers Weekly

“With her fel­low Kentuckian, Bobbie Ann Mason, Bingham is writ­ing some of the most suc­cess­ful American short fic­tion, as the superb sto­ries in Transgressions show.”
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)

Best Books of 2002 — Lexington Kentucky Herald-Leader

Best Books of 2002 — Foreword Magazine

Transgressions French 150 Transgressions: Stories

Published in France by Editions Gallimard, Paris.

Book Excerpt

From “The Big Bed”:
It was the big bed that turned Liz to think­ing about trans­gres­sion. The frame as dark mahogany, so high Liz had to slide out of it as though she was slid­ing down a hill, and climb back up with one leg cocked to hip level to make the grade; the bed had been in the fam­ily ad was passed down to her because no one else wanted it. The pineap­ples carved at the top of the tall posts sym­bol­ized, she’d been told, hospitality.

Oliver, who’d led a dif­fer­ent life in a dif­fer­ent place with a woman he called “my friend” began one Sunday morn­ing to talk about fan­tasies. Liz was instantly alerted, as though by the smell of some­thing burning.”

Interview with the Author

“So many of the women I know, includ­ing myself, have made huge sac­ri­fices usu­ally in the name of love—taking care of peo­ple who might be able to take care of them­selves. It’s really a case of love being an act of betrayal—the woman lets go of her own core, her own integrity, her own self, for some­one else. These are trans­gres­sions against the self in the name of love.”
— Interviewed by Lynn Cline,The New Mexican

More infor­ma­tion from the Sarabande Books web­site.

Signed copies of selected works are avail­able directly from the author at the list price, plus $ 2.99 ship­ping per book.

Titles include Mending, Red Car, The Hub of the Miracle, Transgressions: Stories, Straight Man, Small Victories, Upstate, The Hub of the Miracle and Passion and Prejudice.

ej view cart Transgressions: Stories

Sarabande Books
ISBN: 1889330922
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
$ 13.95

View all of Sallie's online writing in her archives.

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