I enjoy fiction with an uncanny bent. The more unsettling the better!  Stories of loneliness, obsession & anxiety are my favorites but I'll read anything if the language engages me.

We Are Okay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142422939
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Published: Penguin Books - February 26th, 2019

Unique and meditative, full of sadness and love. For readers of all ages.

An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616208684
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Published: Algonquin Books - February 5th, 2019

I had tears standing in my eyes for practically the duration of this novel. Not because it's "sad" or "depressing," nothing as simple as that. (There is nothing simple about the infinitely complicated dilemmas these characters face). Just because it made me FEEL, constantly. Magnificent book, just beautiful.

Conversations with Friends: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451499066
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Published: Hogarth - August 7th, 2018

This novel is Hip. Sally Rooney has written a fascinating and hugely entertaining social drama based in today's anti-establishment attitudes & advanced understanding of human sexuality. That's what makes her novel fun, and current. What makes this novel, I think, very, very brilliant is how it feels like a natural step in a timeless literary conversation about women's physical bodies and emotions ... I thought of lonesome and alienating Jean Rhys novels, I thought of the physical wretchedness of The Bell Jar, I thought of the claustrophobically intimate, "spinster-ish" Anita Brookner novels I so adore... I was reminded of all of this while reading something undeniably Now, undeniably fresh and unique and entertaining as hell. Very, very excellent. I finished it on 1st of March, but I already know it will be the best book I read this year.

The Far Field Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802128409
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Published: Grove Press - January 15th, 2019

Gripping beginning, astounding ending. Compelling narrative voice throughout. I thought it was quite masterful, with a satisfying, moral gut-punch of a conclusion.

On the Come Up Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062498564
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Published: Balzer + Bray - February 5th, 2019

On the Come Up is a fantastic novel with entertaining, endearing and beautifully-drawn characters living in Garden Heights, the fictional neighborhood first introduced in Thomas's debut The Hate U Give. This novel explores similar themes of power, race, and self-expression, this time through Bri, an aspiring rapper and all-around cool teen. I loved Bri. Witnessing how she puts together rhymes, constructs music, and handles the misinterpretation of her words was compelling stuff -- and should especially appeal to aspiring writers and lovers of language. I cannot praise this novel enough. Better than The Hate U Give!

The Dakota Winters: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062258199
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Published: Ecco - December 4th, 2018

I have zero interest in The Beatles, even less in tales of male bonding at sea. It’s a testament to this novel’s narration that I 100% loved this book. I’ll follow a compelling voice anywhere, and I followed Anton Winter, fictional son of a 1970s talk show host, to the Dakota Apartments in NYC, to Ted Kennedy’s campaign, John Lennon’s assassination, and broader explorations of fame, wealth, ambition, obsession, celebrity, and privacy. With warmth and casualness, Winter invited me into a glamorous and entertaining world, one I eagerly dived into every morning when I woke up. A treat to read!

CIRCE Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556347
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

This was a beautiful, moving, stirring epic, about an immortal goddess who, in the thousands of years of her existence, faces many heartbreaks, triumphs, and very dull days, too. Reading the adventures of gods, monsters, and mortals— and learning the who’s-who of the heavenly realm— was a blast. But what I truly loved about this novel was Circe’s development from naive river nymph to self-possessed witch of Aiaia.

It might take an eternity of living to realize the loveliness of human mortality— Circe, in her eternal wisdom, had me convinced by the end of 400 pages.

Anne of Green Gables (Puffin Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780141321592
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Published: Puffin Books - September 11th, 2008

I re-read Anne of Green Gables last winter and was struck all over again by Anne's magnificent imagination, intelligence, and bravery. Recent adaptations of the book have brought into starker focus the violence and trauma of Anne's past, but something else -- something fun -- that struck me as an adult reader is how hilarious this book is. The banter between Anne and her adoptive mother, Marilla, is comic gold.

The Burning Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393356052
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 5th, 2018

This is a story about the stories we write for women and girls -- stories of violence, abuse, victimhood, sex, and misconduct -- and how all stories, no matter how close they hope to get to the truth, are made up. When I started The Burning Girl, I was struck by how different it was from Messud's last book, The Woman Upstairs. Where that book is cynical and chic, this one is earnest and suburban, almost YA in its affect. But like Nora in that other book, Julia is an analytical, voyeuristic narrator, who desires to be seen, understood, and loved -- even while failing to fully see or understand the one she's fixed her own gaze on, her beloved Cassie.

Another Country (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679744719
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Published: Vintage - December 1992

This was my first novel by Baldwin, the book that introduced me to his incredible sensitivity and ability to take on multiple human perspectives. A gorgeous, moving soap opera of a novel set in New York City in the 1950s.

Based on a True Story Cover Image
By Delphine de Vigan, George Miller (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781632868152
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 9th, 2017

An intelligent, elegant page-turner laced with a central mystery throughout – what happened between the narrator and her once-friend L.? French author de Vigan masterfully balances insights on writing, reading, and identity with a truly thrilling plot. I loved every line and would venture to call this a perfect novel.

Isadora: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374279981
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 23rd, 2017

This is a novel to be read with all of the attention and appreciation you might give to a particularly rich and expensive bonbon, placed whole on your tongue. It is a portrait of Isadora Duncan at a moment of specific loss -- a moment Amelia Gray has rendered with humor and tragedy, silliness and beautiful sentences.

Eileen: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128755
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Published: Penguin Books - August 16th, 2016

Eileen immerses you completely in the perspective of its title character Eileen Dunlop, a prissy, perverse, socially-strange, and desperately lonely prison worker, who seems at once seventeen and sixty-five, but is, in fact, twenty-four. Loving Eileen the novel means loving Eileen the character, and I did. I found her both frightening and endearing. And Moshfegh’s incredible structure is such that interlaced within the bleak comedy of Eileen’s life is a sense of hope, and of mystery.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143039976
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Published: Penguin Classics - October 31st, 2006

Shirley Jackson has a knack for turning domestic spaces into bizarre and wondrous realms. In We Have Always Lived in the Castle she creates an entire universe from the most domestic of spaces -- the kitchen. Literally an entire universe for the Blackwood sisters, whose dark past, fear of the outside, and simple self-sufficiency drive them to a smaller and smaller existence not only in their community, but in their own home.

I think it has a happy ending, but not everyone agrees. Judge for yourself.

Cake Time Cover Image
By Siel Ju
ISBN: 9781597090315
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Published: Red Hen Press - April 6th, 2017

Cake Time follows a young woman through her relationship history, from her teen years through her mid-30s, in an era of “hookups,” when no one is “settling down”. The main character serves as both participant in and witness to a bizarre – at times brutal –sexual landscape A risqué, honest book that manages to portray graphic sex in a way that never feels crass or indulgent – in part thanks to the book’s sensitive and insightful narrator, whom I loved.

Something Wicked This Way Comes Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780380729401
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Avon - March 1998

A deliciously creepy novel – perfect for Halloween, or any time you’re looking for a spook – that dramatizes the ghastly consequences of eternal youth. Read this, be transported by a story like you haven’t been since you were a kid, and be glad the journey back to childhood goes no further than that…

The Door (NYRB Classics) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590177716
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Published: NYRB Classics - January 27th, 2015

The Door begins with a shocking confession of murder. Magda, a writer - and the narrator of this story - claims responsibility for the death of her housekeeper Emerence. The novel that follows isn't a traditionally plotted murder mystery, but instead a quiet and existential tale of mortality, guilt, and personal privacy. Fans of Ferrante's Neapolitan series will be drawn to the volatile yet deeply loving bond between Magda and Emerence.

Pond Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399575891
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Published: Riverhead Books - July 12th, 2016

Atmospheric and cerebral musings make up this melancholy and often humorous exploration of solitude. Pond's narrator is a woman with very specific ideas on how to arrange flaked almonds in a bowl of porridge, who throws a dinner party because she has "so many glasses after all." Set against the changing seasons of a small village in rural Ireland, Pond is a pleasurable meditation on the self at home.

The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101873717
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Published: Vintage - August 9th, 2016

In Williams's stories, young girls spout worldly wisdom while grown women languish in gin-soaked passivity. Everyone is distinctively dressed, and there is always food, but no one is ever eating. I can't quite sum up forty-six stories spanning an entire, brilliant career - I highly recommend reading them.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250103758
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Published: Picador - May 10th, 2016

A warm, humane little book about the brutal coldness of bureaucracy. The Beautiful Bureaucrat is a stylish and witty celebration of love and family . . . and a frightening portrait of what happens to our skin and eyeballs when we are stranded in tiny rooms, in hateful jobs.

After Birth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544582910
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Published: Mariner Books - February 2nd, 2016

After Birth is at once an intimate and original tale of new motherhood, and a larger, highly vitriolic critique of the birth industry. It is an exploration, too, of the sometimes tragic failure of female friendship. Ari is a narrator full of rage - at times difficult to love, but always very, very funny and insightful.

A Little Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: Backordered
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Intense, and very moving. A Little Life is a fascinating contribution to the great epics of friendship, romance, and family. Very very dark, yes -- but also compassionate, earnest, and stylistically original.

The Story of a New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781609451349
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Published: Europa Editions - September 3rd, 2013

Excellent, excellent, excellent. In The Story of A New Name, the stakes are raised on themes introduced in the first novel -- friendship, female agency, the acquisition of weath & power, creative endeavor -- yet the ever-forward momentum that made My Brilliant Friend so addicting never ceases. The relationships between characters old and new are, as ever, ever in flux, and increasinly complicated. Elena & Lila's worlds expand, yet their core concerns -- of friendship, romance, and personal striving -- remain.

Two Serious Ladies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062283122
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Published: Ecco - February 25th, 2014

I adore everything about this book, from the pretty cover and prim prose to the bizarre – yet infinitely reasonable – actions of Frieda and Christina. There is nothing precious about this portrait of two 20th century American women who follow their own self-created codes of living. These ladies are strange, hilarious, and - above all - dead serious.

Please Talk to Me: Selected Stories (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) Cover Image
By Liliana Heker, Alberto Manguel (Translated by), Miranda France (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780300198041
Availability: Backordered
Published: Yale University Press - May 26th, 2015

What I love about working at Antigone is coming across an author like Liliana Heker, whom I never may have discovered otherwise. Please Talk to Me is a sampling of Heker's work published in her native Argentina between 1966 & 2011. This collection is rife with twists, existential insight, and some delightfully creepy -- yet sympathetic -- narrators. Each story is unlike the last. Highly recommended.

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laurence Hyman (Editor), Sarah Hyman DeWitt (Editor), Ruth Franklin (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780812987324
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 7th, 2016

Wow. People kept recommending Shirley Jackson to me, and I can see why. Here, the fantastical becomes the everyday, the everyday fantastical. Hilarious, often unsettling. A wonderful introduction to this important and prolific writer.

Can't and Won't: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250062437
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Published: Picador - March 31st, 2015

Lydia Davis is a master stylist.  In Can't & Won't she has written strange, irreverent little tales honoring our everyday fears & anxieties.

Duplex: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555976910
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Published: Graywolf Press - October 7th, 2014

A series of vivid & terrifying images make up this tale of suburbia – Duplex is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Allow yourself to be swept up – lost, even – in the strangeness, and you will adore this novel as much as I did.

Too Much Happiness (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307390349
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Published: Vintage - November 2nd, 2010

What can you say about a woman who won the Nobel  Prize or her fiction? Just that, yes, you really should get around to reading her, because her stories are stranger and more unsettling that you might have imagined… And, of course, beautifully crafted. Fiction at its most empathetic and original.

Karate Chop: Stories Cover Image
By Dorthe Nors, Martin Aitken (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781555976651
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Published: Graywolf Press - February 4th, 2014

I'll read almost anything with a pink cover. Usually it pays off, certainly in the case of this slim volume of stories by Danish writer Dorothe Nors. This collection contains psychological portraits of great depth and humor, with acts of violence and desperation so stealthily rendered you'll hardly realize they've crept upon you.

Dinner Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Katherine Silver (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811221085
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Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 6th, 2015

This compact novel features a dinner party hosted by an eccentric, a zombie apocalypse, and a complicated mother/son relationship. Sophisticated and ridiculous. Erudite and very funny. Cesar Aira is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!