Lynne Sharon Schwartz Analysis

Other Literary Forms

Lynne Sharon Schwartz has published several novels, including Rough Strife (1980), Balancing Acts (1981), Disturbances in the Field (1983), Leaving Brooklyn (1989), The Fatigue Artist: A Novel (1995), and In the Family Way: An Urban Comedy (1999). She has also written much poetry and nonfiction. Other publications include a children’s book, The Four Questions (1989), and a memoir, Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books (1996).


Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s awards for her short fiction include the James Henle Award (1974) and the Lamport Foundation Award (1977). Her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories 1978; The Best American Short Stories 1979; Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, 1979, and Imagining America, 1992.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Burke, Kathleen. Review of Ruined by Reading, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Smithsonian 27 (December, 1996): 137. Summarizes the book as a celebration of reading.

Hulbert, Ann. Acquainted with the Night, and Other Stories, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. The New York Times Book Review 89 (August 26, 1984): 9. Only the title story sustains the “wry tone and spiritual struggle” that mark her best novels.

Klass, Perri. Review of The Melting Pot and Other Subversive Stories, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. New York Times Book Review 92 (October 11, 1987): 15-16. Focuses on “What I Did for Love,” “The Sound of Velcro,” “Killing the Bees,” and “The Melting Pot.”

Mano, D. Keith. Review of Acquainted with the Night, and Other Stories, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. National Review 37 (February 22, 1985): 48-49. Argues that Schwartz’s stories are often perceptive, smooth, careful but reflect exactly the state of short fiction today, which Mano finds generally “elitist, condescending, narrow, ‘caring,’ and relatively unimaginative.”

Mellard, James M. “Resisting the Melting Pot: The Jewish Back-Story in the Fiction of Lynne Sharon Schwartz.” In Daughters of Valor: Contemporary Jewish American Women Writers, edited by Jay Halio and Ben Siegel. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 1997. Argues that although Schwartz seeks to capture the “value and power of the American ‘melting pot’” in her fiction, an ethnic “back story” about origins underlies it and is implicit in the details if absent from the surfaces of both her novels and the short stories. Analyzes in detail “Opiate of the People” and “The Melting Pot.”

Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. Interview by Wendy Smith. Publishers Weekly 226 (August 3, 1984): 68-69. In an interview occasioned by the publication of Acquainted with the Night, and Other Stories Schwartz reveals some relationships between her three earlier novels and her short fiction.