Cover image for Bridge of sighs : a novella and stories
Bridge of sighs : a novella and stories
Roeske, Paulette.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ashland, Or. : Story Line Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
134 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Winner of the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction"--Cover.
From this distance -- Open arms -- The hard fact -- Smaller than life -- A history of swimming -- Four characters, three small stories -- The ecstasy of Magda Brummel.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A novella and two stories by Paulette Roeske.

Winner of the second annual Three Oaks Prize for fiction.

Magda Brummel, the protagonist of the novella, who is devastated by loss, has decided to take a trip to Italy. She is accompanied by a man whom she knows only casually, and their relationship is initially platonic. As the author takes Magda and Harry through stunningly evoked sacred and secular sites throughout Italy, we realize that, for Magda, the trip has become an increasingly urgent pilgrimage, a search for renewal, if not grace.

Paulette Roeske has published four books of poetry. An NEH and Fulbright Fellow, her fiction appeared in "Threepenny Review, Georgia Review, "and other publications.

Author Notes

Paulette Roeske is the author of several collections of poetry, including Anvil, Clock & Last and Divine Attention, which won the Carl Sandburg Book Award for Poetry. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in The Georgia Review, Poetry, The Threepenny Review, Other Voices, and Glimmer Train, among many other journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband in Evansville, where she currently teaches at the University of Southern Indiana

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The stories in Bridge of Sighs are linked by the themes of grieving and surviving loss, with the shorter ones leading to, connecting with, and commenting on the novella "Bridge of Sighs." In a match made accidentally, not in heaven, two people are living together after the man's apartment is devastated by fire; he irritates her, who is unused to his ongoing presence, and, as ravaged as his former apartment, which he insists on showing her, he even wets the bed he shares with her. Pushed too far when her 15-year-old daughter mouths off about her father, a divorced mother slaps the girl. A teacher at a failing college once again drinks too much at a gathering with colleagues. These disparate roads all lead to the novella, in which the heroine, accompanied by a casual acquaintance, takes a restorative trip to Italy that becomes a quasi pilgrimage. Roeske's writing is strong throughout, easily keeping one's interest. --Whitney Scott

Table of Contents

From This Distancep. 3
Open Armsp. 11
The Hard Factp. 25
Smaller Than Lifep. 39
A History of Swimmingp. 45
Four Characters, Three Small Storiesp. 53
The Ecstasy of Magda Brummelp. 57