Jul 142014


No Longer and Not Yet by Joanna Clapps Herman

Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Excelsior Editions (March 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1438450346
ISBN-13: 978-1438450346

The stories in “No Longer and Not Yet” look at the ways our lives are lived in the split seconds between what is no longer but is still not yet. Most take place on Manhattan’s iconic Upper West Side, in the shops, hallways, and parks that reveal this well-known big city neighborhood for the tiny, even backwater village it more often resembles. An Upper West Sider herself, Joanna Clapps Herman draws her characters honestly yet tenderly, revealing them as much through how they move the slope of a shoulder, a vocal inflection, the weight of a football as by what they do, as though their bodies speak the truths they can’t express.

Here, Hannah Arendt s ghost haunts the building where she once lived, a hawk carries the apparition of a lost loved one, a homeless woman becomes Demeter. Small moments and intimacies of life weave together to form a bigger picture: the squeak of the hotel bed, a leaf on a saucer, the quality of light in the therapist s office, the doorman s familiar jokes, the open cupboards, the unspoken words. These stories show that, although we may think of ourselves in larger mythic narratives, our days are set in the terrain that is the opposite of the vast.

I’ve recently become a huge fan of short story collections, and this book is a great example of how good they can be.

This book is full of characters whose stories will transport you to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and into their lives as if you were actually there. The author made sure of that with a writing style that brings the characters to life.

The stories are about friends and neighbors, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters. It’s about the people closest to us, people that you don’t really know, but who are a part of your everyday life. It’s about the hum drum of everyday. The little things that happen daily and the people in our lives that make us who we are. The stories are happy, sad, funny, and even a bit on the scary side.

If you want to read a book that will give you a wide range of emotions, this book will do that. It’s a quick read, just over 200 pages, but is a book you won’t soon forget.

Meet The Author
Joanna-Clapps-Herman-e1398200688896Joanna Clapps Herman teaches creative writing in the MFA Graduate Program at Manhattanville College and at the Center for Worker Education, a division of City College of New York, CUNY. She is the author of The Anarchist Bastard: Growing Up Italian in America, also published by SUNY Press; coeditor (with Carol Bonomo Albright) of Wild Dreams: The Best of Italian Americana; and coeditor (with Lee Gutkind) of Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian-American Writers. She lives in New York City.


Here are some links:


Thanks to the author/publisher and TLC Book Tours, I can offer one of my readers a copy of this book.
Sorry, but this giveaway is for those living in the U.S. only
To enter, leave a comment with your email address.
Giveaway ends July 21st.
 Posted by at 2:49 AM

  9 Responses to “Review: No Longer and Not Yet by Joanna Clapps Herman”

  1. I’ve recently started to read short stories, and loving it too. Thanks for your thoughts, so sorry I can’t win this book. Maybe I’ll move… to the U.S., just kidding. Have a great day.

  2. I have to get into the short story reading mode one of these days. This looks like an interesting collection.
    Book Dilettante

  3. Thanks for this excellent giveaway which interests me greatly.

  4. Hi Vicki,

    I have only just started to gather an interest in short story collections and I had no idea that there was such great material out there.

    This collection sounds amazing and the author so interesting. Joanna’s website is a little goldmine, I spent an age checking out the pages and she has some fantastic photographs to share.

    Thanks for the feature, it sounds as though you enjoyed the read.


  5. The book sounds like some great and interesting short stories. I enjoy reading about New York. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  6. This book sounds like a real treat — I’d love to win a copy! If I am so lucky, please email: shamy at post dot harvard dot edu

  7. Thanks for being a part of the tour! I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

  8. I too am a fan of short stories. This sounds like a unique collection.

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