Robin Black creates worlds within worlds. Her stories turn on a glance or a phrase – or, more often, on that which is not expressed. If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This explores life’s rich silences: in relationships both acknowledged and covert, and in the unspoken, often treacherous dynamics of families in which so much goes unsaid. A mother, retired to the countryside with her elderly husband, plays sensitive host to her daughter and her secret lover even while she mourns the embers of her own relationship. A blind teenager sees the fractures in her parents’ marriage more clearly than they can themselves.
These stories are luminous, wise and unerringly humane, and their emotional generosity is all the more moving for Black’s restrained and accomplished style. This is an extraordinarily poised debut collection from one of America’s brightest new voices.
‘Robin Black knows people. She knows us, she loves us, she takes pity on us and she offers us back to ourselves in clear-eyed and graceful prose. Her people are alive on these pages in all their glory – heartache and joy, infidelity and loyalty – and stay with us’ Amy Bloom, author of Away and Where the God of Love Hangs Out
‘She creates that special kind of literary magic, where a reader experiences everything, right alongside, and it all feels new’ Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
‘This collection of short stories might more accurately be called a collection of short novels, such is their richness of characterization and plot . . . Robin Black is an old soul who is a new addition to my short list of favorite authors’ Elizabeth Berg, author of The Last Time I Saw You
‘Like bulletins from the front, these magnificent stories shine a light on what it means to be human’ Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White