Most of the short stories in Peter Orner’s collection Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge are very short, just a few pages or even a few paragraphs. The critical acclaim, on the other hand, has come long and wide for the Creative Writing professor, from the Wall Street Journal (“Mr. Orner packs remarkable pathos into his condensed dramas”) and San Francisco Chronicle (“A magnificent and moving mosaic of remarkable narratives”), among many others.
The latest acclaim for Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (Back Bay/Little Brown and Company) comes from The New York Times Book Review, in its Paperback Row feature following the August publication of the book’s paperback edition.
“Orner presents a kaleidoscope of lives and experiences: lovers at a Wyoming hotel in 1912; a weary communist in 1990s Prague; a daydreaming furniture salesman in 1940s New England.
“‘Crystalline sentences ... transform the ordinary elements of each story into an even more astonishing whole,’ Lauren Groff wrote here (in her 2013 review of the book).”
Orner’s other book include Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, Best American Stories and other periodicals. Orner has received the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes. He joined SF State in 2003.