None other than Robert Stone, whom I nominate as the greatest living American writer (with all due respect to Philip Roth) opines:
Roxana Robinson is surely one of the most graceful stylists and psychologically perceptive writers working Cost approaches the subject of drugs’ impact from an original and very significant angle. This book shows further the extent of Robinson’s insights into the whirl, the generational ironies at work, and desperate indulgences to which we turn in our confusion. Cost is an important timely book that furthers insight into our preset fortunes and dilemmas.As frequently happens as a consequence of America’s literary abundance, I had never read a word by Ms. Robinson. And as happens twice or thrice a year, the Bryn Mawr Bookstore in North Cambridge was having its half-price salewhere wonderful books of all stripes were sold for criminally low prices. Thus I acquired Asking for Love, a 1996 story collection by Robinson (as well as Cynthia Ozick’s Levitation: Five Fictions).
The interesting thing about story collections is that even as the publishers claim that they don’t sell, they persist in publishing them and even more importantly there are lots of literary fiction types (you know who you are) who are argue that many writers’ best works are in short form. Well, if this is some of Roxana Robinson’s best work, she certainly has something to be proud of, as the 14 stories presented starting with the title story are prose gems. I am very pleased to have made their and her acquaintance.
Additionally, Robinson has succumbed to the tempting opportunity offered by the internet and offers up a journal of miscellany at her web site. This is as close you can come to getting something for nothing as I can tell.