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Sing to It: New Stories
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Sing to It: New Stories

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  18 reviews
All the tawdry details I’m dying for are in these stories, but they’re given out like old sweaters—without shame, without guile. Amy Hempel is the writer who makes me feel most affiliated with other humans; we are all living this way—hiding, alone, obsessed—and that’s ok.” —Miranda July

From legendary writer Amy Hempel, one of the most celebrated and original voices in Ame
Hardcover, 160 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Scribner
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  39 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
At the end, I wanted to comfort him. But what I said was, Sing to it. The Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.

The above quote is taken from the first story in this collection, Sing to It. The first story is not alone in being a very short story. Less than one page short. While it is not the only story in here that is that short, there is one that is probably around half the pages in the entire book, and one early on that is longer than the average length in this collection, but th
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sing to It is a short collection of short stories, many of which are a page or less long. What's amazing to me is that in a few hundred words, Amy Hempel can tell an amazing story--lyrical, gorgeous, and raw. These stories are livewires and they read like poetry to boot. I think The Orphan Lamb, The Doll Tornado, and the opener, Sing to It, are especially strong, but my favorite qas The Correct Grip, which left me awed and reeling.

Of the longer, more traditional short stories, the best by far i
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a collection of 15 short stories - and some are very short, about a page long. None of the stories seems to be related to each other. My favorite story was A Full Service Shelter about a volunteer at a dog shelter. It was heart-breaking. The other story I liked was the very first one - Sing To It, but it was because I liked the Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.

I appreciate that Amy Hempel is a great writer and says a great deal in a small amount of space which is the po
Vincent Scarpa
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In every way perfect, this set of stories. (Except, perhaps, “The Chicane,” though it’s likely I’m missing something and just need to read it a few more times, and carefully.)

Favorites include “A Full-Service Shelter,” “I Stay With Syd,” “Greed,” and “The Correct Grip,” stories I’ve admired since reading them when they first appeared in litmags. (Minor complaint: the substitution of “hell” for “fuck” in the latter story’s final line!)

New to me were three wonderfully sad short-shorts — “The Sec
Kasa Cotugno
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ranging in size from about a page to the length of a small novella, these 15 stories are proof that Amy Hempel's name belongs right up there with the best in short fiction. Some are snippets of observation and opinion, others, possibly semi-autobiography, and apart from knowing she is currently living in Florida, I don't know enough about her life to make that a solid judgment. Still, Cloudland, told in a voice almost of bemusement, seems to reflect thoughts of a careful mind if not the actions ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's Amy Hempel -- we all know it's going to be good. But I was completely unprepared for just how astonishing Sing to It is. I repeatedly had to get up and pace back and forth, I was so startled and excited by Hempel's increasingly powerful ability to elevate and, really, define the short story form.

She is nothing short of a magician.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How does Amy Hempel take a paragraph’s worth of writing and fill it with so much texture and nuance?

Many of Hempel’s stories in this collection are just 2 pages or less, but just because she’s austere with her words doesn’t mean there is any less feeling in them. These are stories of love, defeat, pain, and longing. It’s abstract, stories start in the middle, there’s no beginning and end, and you are often reading between the lines when you read Hempel, but I love every minute of it. This is a
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Moore
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Netgalley ARC
The writing here is often times gorgeous and Hempel is able to conjure so much thought with so few words. This book may only be 160 pages but to truly absorb it, you need to read slowly and thoroughly. I will add to this that even though I feel she's a beautiful writer, I didn't necessarily love all of the stories. And the fact that I wasn't all too fond of the final story which consumed nearly half of the pages, somewhat diminished my feelings towards the project as a whole. A
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. Worship at the feet of the master, y’all.
Hempel has a very strong voice. I could read an unmarked short story in a lit magazine and quickly identify whether it was written by her or not. But I didn't find anything tying the stories together; no theme. Why these stories in this collection? It feels more like the author is adding an addendum to her already long list of published works.

Like an abstract painting, I know it's art, I know it's beautiful and impactful, but I'm on the outside. The pure depth and beauty of the piece is at arms
Morgan Schulman
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reader-s-copy
I received an advanced reader’s in exchange for an honest review

These writings are a cross between poetry and short stories, short snippets of a person’s impression of an experience. Beautiful, and it works.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read the title story half a dozen times, and every time -- EVERY time -- it blows me away.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-reading
I have been looking at the reviews written by other readers to see what they liked about the book. Saying it was written by Amy Hempel, and thus it is wonderful, was not helpful. The reviewer who said every story was perfect- that also was not helpful. I read these other reviews looking for the magic I somehow missed. (SPOILERS after this point!)

The story about working in a high kill shelter at the beginning of the book would have been the end of my reading the book, had I not been given a copy
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I recognized the name Amy Hempel, and found she was co-editor of Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs , which I had read. Now I have been introduced to her short stories (the prior collection I had not read: The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel (2006). I'm glad that I got the chance to read this one and will keep eyes open for the other.
Amy is my favorite, or at least second favorite, kind of writer; she is quirky. Hard to put your finger on what that means, but the stories are like having coffee wi
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a special thing to read Amy Hempel for the first time. Her writing is made for meditations, rereadings, reflection, so that first reading— for its wonder and pathos— is replaced with a relationship. When I say I love The Collected Stories, it really feels like a relationship. It was a treat to return to the feeling of the first read. I am excited for the relationships that have begun to grow.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Her short stories speaks a lot with just a few pages. I found some to be heartbreaking and others thoughtful.
Vy Nguyen
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Feb 15, 2019
Earl M.
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Jan 31, 2019
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Jan 11, 2019
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Jan 14, 2019
Michael Taeckens
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Dec 12, 2018
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Feb 13, 2019
Simon Schuster
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Oct 24, 2018
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Dec 09, 2018
Tim Colwell
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Jan 12, 2019
John  Wilson
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Feb 13, 2019
Angelica Gonzalez
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Feb 16, 2019
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Jan 29, 2019
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Dec 12, 2018
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "Sing to It" by Amy Hempel 2 10 Jan 31, 2019 01:12PM  
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Amy Hempel is an American short story writer, journalist, and university professor at Brooklyn College. Hempel was a former student of Gordon Lish, who eventually helped her publish her first collection of short stories. Hempel has been published in Harper's, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Bomb. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Ambassador Book Award in 2007, the Rea Award for ...more
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