Edith Pearlman Dies Aged At 86, Writer Who Won Acclaim Late In Life!

Edith Pearlman Dies: American short story writer Edith Ann Pearlman (June 26, 1936 – January 1, 2023) passed away on January 1, 2023. Pearlman grew up in a middle-class Jewish neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, where she was born.

She earned her degree from the prestigious Radcliffe University. She has served in the Brookline, Massachusetts, Town Meeting and worked at a computer company and a soup kitchen. Her articles have been published in such publications as Smithsonian, Ploughshares, Preservation, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Her articles about the Cotswolds, Budapest, Jerusalem, Paris, and Tokyo have appeared in The New York Times and other publications. Oprah Winfrey included her fifth collection of short tales, Honeydew, in her list of “best 19 books to read right now” in January 2015.

Edith Pearlman Dies Aged At 86, Writer Who Won Acclaim Late In Life!

Edith Pearlman Dies
Edith Pearlman Dies

Edith Pearlman’s 2011 short story collection “Binocular Vision” catapulted her to literary fame at 74. On Sunday, she passed away at her Brookline, Massachusetts, home. In terms of age, she was 86. Charles, her son, confirmed she had passed away but gave no other details.

The author Roxana Robinson asked, “Why in the world had I never heard of Edith Pearlman?” in a gushing review of “Binocular Vision” that ran on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. A modern-day Cinderella story of a senior author and a young, ambitious, visionary editor solved the problem.

Ms. Pearlman polished her craft over four decades, publishing over 200 short stories and collecting plaudits and awards, but mainly in the fertile ground of small literary magazines and presses that boldly reject market-driven mainstream publication.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington graduate and independent publisher Emily Louise Smith and rising editor at Tin House Ben George founded the imprint Lookout Books in 2011.

After reading and enjoying Ms. Pearlman’s short story collections “Vaquita” (1996), “Love Among the Greats” (2002), and “How to Fall,” he approached her about publishing a selection of her chosen and new pieces to create Lookout Books (2005).

They worked closely together on “Binocular Vision,” and Ms. Pearlman even called him her “perfect reader.” We chose these stories, in which Ms. Pearlman lets us inside the lives of characters as disparate as suburban moms and Holocaust survivors, to demonstrate her range.

The individuals have dark pasts and keen intellects, and the most mundane moments of their existence can swiftly become the most thrilling. In the film “Vaquita,” the health minister of an unnamed Latin American country, Seora Perera, is in the midst of a meeting when gunfire erupts.

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She coolly orders her subordinate to watch her parrot because she knows she will soon be killed or deported. She says, “His rabbinic intelligence look grabbed me,” when asked why she chose a plain, brown-feathered parrot as a companion.

Since best-selling author Ann Patchett had included one of Ms. Pearlman’s stories in the 2006 edition of “Best American Short Stories,” Mr. George invited Patchett to pen an introduction for the volume. He feared she wouldn’t want to work with him because of how little Lookout Books could pay.

But Ms. Patchett allegedly stated, “I would pay for the opportunity” to promote Ms. Pearlman’s work, as recounted by Mr. George. This obituary is based on an interview with Mr. George, who spoke about a breakthrough in academia that was “almost magical” in 2021.

In her introduction, Ms. Patchett likened Ms. Pearlman to short story greats like John Updike, Anton Chekhov, and Alice Munro. Even the literary establishment took note of this. Ms. Robinson of the Times thinks Pearlman’s world is both welcoming and fascinating and that her writing is exquisite.

That’s why it’s so striking when she injects unexpectedly sensitive or profound tones into the story—often without saying a word about it. The Financial Times has declared her to be the “It Girl” of the literary world.

Ms. Pearlman was nominated for a National Book Award in 2011 after being honored with the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Publishing Mr. George received a lot of attention from Ms. Pearlman, too.

Over time, he worked his way up through Little Brown’s editorial ranks until he became a senior editor. He stated, “Without her, I never would have come to New York.” Edith Ann Grossman was born on June 26, 1936, in a middle-class Jewish neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island.

She earned her degree in English literature from Radcliffe College in 1957. Edna (Rosen) Grossman was born to Polish immigrants in Providence, Rhode Island. Her ophthalmologist’s father was Herman Paul Grossman. Born in Ukraine, he arrived in the United States in 1908.

The death or illness of a parent is a common theme in Edith’s stories. In Edith’s ninth year, her father was told he had cancer. By the time she turned sixteen, he had already died. In a 2015 profile of Pearlman, Patchett wrote, “Edith has always grasped that death is the basic human story.”

What’s problematic isn’t a lack of ability to fall in love. Both your hopes and your planned route are irrelevant. Something about her made her stand out: an innate ability to see the good in bad situations. Please forward this to your friends if you find it interesting. Visit Lighthousejournal.org for the most recent celebrity news and updates.

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