Elizabeth Tallent Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Elizabeth Tallent is the author of the novel Museum Pieces (1985) and a collection of criticism, Married Men and Magic Tricks: John Updike’s Erotic Heroes (1982).


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Elizabeth Tallent’s first story, “Ice,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 1981; “The Evolution of Birds of Paradise” was included in 1984’s Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; “Prowler” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 1990. Tallent received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1993.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Broyard, Anatole. “In Constant Flight.” Review of In Constant Flight, by Elizabeth Tallent. The New York Times, April 29, 1983, p. C29. In this review of Tallent’s first collection, Broyard is concerned that she tries too hard to divorce her characters from the ordinary. He says her characters often seem to be on the brink of an epiphany, but when they have one their emotions are unidentifiable.

Elder, Richard. “Extraordinary Tales from Ordinary Lives.” Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1993, p. E6. Discusses Tallent’s basic themes and typical characters. Comments on her subjects of broken marriages, family ties, shuffled children, and blind and aggressive men. Discusses the story “Prowlers” as a compendium of her most typical elements.

Gilbert, Matthew. “Tallent Lights Up a Troubled Terrain.” The Boston Globe, January 21, 1994, p. 73. Argues that Tallent is able to make everything her characters do mirror their emotional states. Says her plots are metaphorical and her style is graceful and incisive, but that occasionally the elegance of her stories gets in the way. Suggests that the stories in Honey, a kind of sequel to Time with Children, show thematic strides, for more is at stake in them.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Families Bound by Ties That Stifle.” The New...

(The entire section is 436 words.)