home | my biography | fiction | nonfiction | poetry | translations | anthologies | links | write me
Reviews of The Alice Stories

“Like the famous Alice, Kercheval’s heroine navigates with aplomb situations that are at once ludicrous and wrenching. Sweet-natured and resilient, if a bit dizzy, Alice endears herself to readers by virtue of her buzzing inner life, smart and loopy humor, and unerring instinct for what matters. Over the course of 10 beautifully shaped, deeply moving, funny, and utterly surprising linked stories, Kercheval, in prose as sparkling as snow in sunlight, considers how quickly things can stop making sense and how sustaining goodness truly is.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Kercheval’s prose is clean and quiet, observational and honest. One might be tempted to call it simple, but its words are careful and accurate. Alice, as a narrator, is in tune with her surroundings and describes her inner life evenhandedly, without gloss or deprecation. The real strength of these stories, though, is Kercheval’s ability to convey hope convincingly, not as a willful blindness, but as a potential source for the capacity to persevere through life’s most deceptively commonplace yet most difficult experiences.
—Thea Brown,  The L Magazine

“Daily life has never seemed more remarkable, or more fraught, or more ultimately plenteous than in these seductively readable Alice Stories. Like her literary namesake, Kercheval
s Alice is the ideal companion—witty, warm, and, above all, clear-sighted—to this book's tour through a wonderland of surprise and ineradicable hope.”
—Erin McGraw, author of the story collection The Good Life

“By turns hilarious and devastating, The Alice Stories form a tender and poetic chronicle of one woman
s journey through time, love, motherhood, and Wisconsin. It is a marvelous example of how connected stories can, even more effectively than a novel, evoke a life in all its ranging, episodic, and emotional complexity.”
—Anthony Doerr, author of the novel  About Grace

“In these lucid, keenly intelligent stories, Jesse Lee Kercheval’s witty, tender, and bewildered Alice navigates the unpredictable landscape of adulthood—its irreplaceable gifts and stunning losses—and illuminates what it means to love. Kercheval is a deft, generous storyteller, her fiction mapping the confluence of profound experience, daily rhythms, and small, perfect absurdities. The Alice Stories is a beautiful, arresting collection.”
—Nancy Reisman, author of the novel The First Desire