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`It's not often Alice Munro offers a quote to promote an emerging writer, but after delving into the pages of Emma's Hands, Mary Swan's stellar first collection of short stories, it's easy to see why Munro wants people to stand up and notice. Swan is a first-class writer. Small children, dead relatives, and memories populate her stories, as Swan pays tribute to all the senses contained in remembering. ... Swan's gift lies in her ability to produce succinct, poetic lines that immediately transport the reader to a memory so vibrant it feels like home. Her deft handling of emotions is as welcome as loving arms, reminding the reader that comfort is as vital to life as air. Her brilliant opening lines linger in the mind -- hopeful and portentous -- ushering the reader forward in anticipation.'