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“A superlative collection of stories spanning the breadth of the American psyche. These are tales of ordinary people with questions and longings that will strike a familiar chord. Best of all, Peelle has the good sense to leave the unanswerable in its proper and distant place.”
— Roger Pantano, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
"Lydia Peelle has given us a collection of stories so artfully constructed and deeply imagined they read like classics. It marks the beginning of what will surely be a long and beautiful career." —Ann Patchett
In Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing, Lydia Peelle brings together eight brilliant stories—two of which won Pushcart Prizes and one of which won an O. Henry Prize—that peer straight into the human heart. In startling and original prose, she examines lives derailed by the loss of a vital connection to the natural world.
Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing conveys an almost Faulknerian ache for the pre-modern South, for a landscape and a way of life lost to the ravages of money and technology.
Lydia Peelle is the author of the novel The Midnight Cool and the story collection Reasons For and Advantages of Breathing, which received an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She received her MFA from the University of Virginia and has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Ucross, Yaddo, and Ragdale. Peelle is a recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Prize, the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" honor, and a Whiting Award, as well as the Anahid Award for Emerging Armenian-American writers. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.