American Innovations (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

These stories exquisitely balance the cerebral and the emotional as well as the scientific and the fantastic. Like stories from the great masters, those in this book inform, illuminate, and enrich one another. They are stories that reward through multiple readings. Galchen is easily one of my favorite new writers. 

— From Robert



Winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times

In one of the intensely imaginative stories in Rivka Galchen's American Innovations, a young woman's furniture walks out on her. In another, the narrator feels compelled to promise to deliver a takeout order that has incorrectly been phoned in to her. In a third, the petty details of a property transaction illuminate the complicated pains and loves of a family.
The tales in this groundbreaking collection are secretly in conversation with canonical stories, reimagined from the perspective of female characters. Just as Wallace Stevens's "Anecdote of the Jar" responds to John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Galchen's "The Lost Order" covertly recapitulates James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," while "The Region of Unlikeness" is a smoky and playful mirror to Jorge Luis Borges's "The Aleph." The title story, "American Innovations," revisits Nikolai Gogol's "The Nose."
By turns realistic, fantastical, witty, and lyrical, these marvelously uneasy stories are deeply emotional and written in exuberant, pitch-perfect prose. Whether exploring the tensions in a mother-daughter relationship or the finer points of time travel, Galchen is a writer like none other today.

About the Author

RIVKA GALCHEN is the recipient of a William Saroyan International Prize for Fiction Writing and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, among other distinctions. She writes regularly for The New Yorker, whose editors selected her for their list of "20 Under 40" American fiction writers in 2010. Her debut novel, the critically acclaimed Atmospheric Disturbances, was published by FSG in 2008.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250069238
ISBN-10: 1250069238
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Pages: 192
Language: English