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Review Excerpts

Guardian (UK) - November 1, 2008
"We have past lives more colorful than this one," explains one character, yet in these controlled, purposeful, slightly mocking stories, Dean vividly illuminates the present too.

Chicago Tribune – March 27, 2008
“Smart… gritty and real… Debra Dean's new collection is proof that the [short-story] form can capture gripping, neurotic or darkly funny slices of life in a way that illuminates the modern experience on a broader level… The stories come at you hard, a series of zingers delivered with just enough humor, intelligence and restraint to keep them from becoming painful. Individually, they are polished, smart, interesting tales of life in the big city. Taken as a whole, they create the feel of a beehive, a million little stories dissolving into the larger picture.”
-- Amy Driscoll

Library Journal – February 1, 2008
“Dean, author of the best-selling The Madonnas of Leningrad, has put together a stunning collection of stories… Characters are drawn subtly, with just enough detail to let the reader feel the personality, and the story is allowed to carry the characters to its conclusion. These polished stories evoke a more experienced writer than Dean, who has already had a career as an actor. Recommended for libraries where there is an interest in literary fiction or short stories.”
-- Amy Ford

The Seattle Times – February 15, 2008
“Lyrically written stories... that make a lasting impression… The collection, which one surmises has been written over an extended period of time... provides a fascinating chronicle of Dean's progress as a writer.”
-- Bharti Kirchner

The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC) – February 10, 2008
“Poetic… universal… sometimes disturbing… In her new collection of short stories, Confessions of a Falling Woman, Debra Dean gives readers 10 tightly written slices of life. The power of Dean's stories is their direct simplicity, and Dean's ability to take the reader behind the surface of everyday existence, to find some universal conflict in the most mundane of circumstances…
Without being preachy, Dean has something to say… The writing in this collection... compels in an almost hypnotic kind of way, drawing us into these well-crafted moments from 10 imagined lives.”
-- Cliff Bellamy

Kirkus Reviews -- January 15, 2008
“An attractive wry humor ripples through this collection of ten stories… The humor is evident in the opening story, “What the Left Hand Is Saying,” a cute riff on All About Eve… and in “Dan in the Gray Flannel Rat Suit,” the longest piece by far, a bittersweet valentine to the acting profession (Dean is a former actor). Everything comes together in the beautifully calibrated “Another Little Piece of My Heart.” Dean has a fine appreciation for the way chance can save or doom careers and marriages. More, please.”

Publishers Weekly – December 17, 2007
“Dean follows her debut novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad, with a humorous collection chronicling struggling actors and actresses, therapy sessions and romantic relationships on the brink of disaster. Herself a former actress, Dean illuminates the nastiness of the business and the psychic toll of performance, writing about failure and loss with unfailing comic precision... Readers will certainly forget themselves in these sparkling stories, pausing over small, strange moments that change entire lives.”

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