When Anne Enright visited last February, she enchanted the large audience with her sparkling Irish humor, which was in sharp contrast with the sorrowful occasion at the center of The Gathering, winner of the 2007 Booker Prize. If you’re one of the many readers who loved that novel, you’ll also love the 31 stories gathered in Yesterday’s Weather (Grove, $24). In her distinctive economical, yet evocative, prose, Enright offers a sharp account of the shifting ground of a marriage, when a wife, husband, and new baby visit the husband’s family, a visit in which the couple is subject to rapid shifts in love, hate, and desire. Enright’s microscopic eye for detail gives us hard-lined characters, complemented by a slightly blurred, yet ominous, background. Her women are smart but cynical, and no matter how dysfunctional her characters are, Enright treats them with sympathy, presenting them as brave to have so far survived the minefields of daily life.
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