Lust by Susan Minot
The topic, very cleary, of all of these stories is relationships, or more specifically the complications of emotions involved when we get involved. Minot's characters often expect too much, even when they expect nothing, and are left feeling vacant and wasted. The eagerness with which the women in these stories would search out any sort of love is so earnest and sad. The stories, often told in first person, reminded me in the end of the stories of Anna Kavan. They are that good. Though I don't know it for sure, I would find it hard to belive that Minot didn't at some point read Kavan. The stories are brief and sharp. Languishing in the misery that appears inevitable here would be unendurable, but Minot gets us there, hits us quickly, and moves on. I read these stories in a single evening and it seemed to me to be the perfect way to digest these terrific stories.