Do Not Deny Me


Do Not Deny Me

When Jean Thompson—“America’s Alice Munro” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—is telling stories, “You cannot put the book down” (The Seattle Times), and her superlative new collection, Do Not Deny Me, is one to be savored, word by word.

 • Award-winning storyteller gaining popularity: Jean Thompson’s short fiction has been honored by the National endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation; Who Do You Love: Stories was a National Book Award finalist for fiction and was promoted by David Sedaris during his own lecture tour; and Throw Like a Girl: Stories was a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. The collection is also in its sixth printing, as Thompson’s longstanding critical acclaim crosses over into a popular following. Do Not Deny Me is perfectly positioned to gain an even wider audience.

• Do Not Deny Me: Here is a title that demands—and commands—attention in and of itself. Yet Thompson’s latest collection is no literary dare, delivering as it does twelve dazzling new stories that together offer, with wit, humor, and razor-sharp perception, a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day. In Thompson’s writing, The New York Times Book Review has noted, “some of the biggest satisfactions happen line by line, thanks to Thompson’s effortless ability to tip her prose into the universal.” Thompson succeeds as “one of our most astute diagnosticians of contemporary experience” (The Boston Globe).
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416595632 | 
  • June 2009
List Price $22.99 (price may vary by retailer)


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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Do Not Deny Me includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Jean Thompson. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


With humor and razor-sharp perception, Jean Thompson offers a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day in this new story collection. These twelve stories introduce you to characters that are instantly recognizable in their predicaments, foibles, and sensibilities. With situations that are fresh and relevant, Thompson sensitively and boldly exposes the truths beneath the surface of our “ordinary” modern reality, examining the newly dulled spots of what was once a bright, collective vision—the shiny, happy American Dream. With her wise and witty voice, Thompson winks at fate, and eases the prospect of facing it.


Questions for Discussion
  1. Book titles can often help to reveal a story’s meaning, and this is similarly true for short stories. Examine the titles of these twelve stories and discuss how they relate to their story’s theme or provide illumination. Why do you think the author chose to use the story title “Do Not Deny Me&
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More Books from this Author

The Year We Left Home
Throw Like A Girl
City Boy
Wide Blue Yonder

About the Author

Jean Thompson
Marion Ettlinger

Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson is the author of Who Do You Love: Stories, a 1999 National Book Award finalist for fiction, and the novels City Boy and Wide Blue Yonder, a New York Times Notable Book and Chicago Tribune Best Fiction selection. She lives in Urbana, Illinois. Visit her at