Eleven sparkling stories of family, love, and art from New York Times–bestselling author David Lipsky
My mother doesn’t know that I owe my father three thousand dollars.
From the opening line of the acclaimed title story—a Best American Short Stories selection that first appeared in the New Yorker—to the tender last scene of “Springs, 1977,” this pitch-perfect collection explores the unsteady terrain of early adulthood and the complex legacy of family. Self-aware, creatively ambitious, and just privileged enough to be acutely aware of all that they lack, Lipsky’s characters are as real and unforgettable as the dilemmas they face—some of their own making, some that the world has thrust on them.
In “Relativity,” a college junior transfers to the Ivy League in order to please his mother and make new friends; he quickly realizes the fault in his logic. In “Colonists,” a nervous young author searches for her muse at a New Hampshire writers’ retreat attended by a priest who pens erotic poetry and a composer working on a comic opera about the Alger Hiss trial. “ ‘Shh,’ ” the genesis of Lipsky’s highly praised novel The Art Fair, is the story of a dutiful son trying to shield his artist mother from the agony of her latest rejection.
Witty, heartbreaking, and wise, the stories in Three Thousand Dollars are a testament to David Lipsky’s exceptional talent and to the power of short fiction to transform the smallest of moments into the greatest of truths.