Staff Picks by Tag

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salt slow By Julia Armfield Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250224781
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - October 4th, 2022

With the recent trend of short story collections exploring the darker parts of womanhood, it can be difficult to dedicate your time to one book out of all the overwhelming options. However, Armfield's descent into body horror, queer desire, and personal monstrosity stands out due to the delicious decay surrounding her prose. Perfect for fans of Daisy Johnson and Carmen Maria Machado. 


Review by Sarah C.

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A Lucky Man: Stories By Jamel Brinkley Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978433
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Graywolf Press - June 4th, 2019

One of the best books I read this year. Brinkley can illuminate and expose seemingly any corner of humanity, with equal compassion and precision. His writing is so powerful and graceful at once that it feels balletic, with a dancer's way of making an incredible feat seem simple and easy.


Review by Christina

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Everything Inside: Stories By Edwidge Danticat Cover Image
$25.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780525521273
Published: Knopf - August 27th, 2019

The epigraph of Edwidge Danticat's new story collection generously claims that everyone experiences diaspora, as we are exiled from our mother's body as soon as we are born. What follows are stories that strive to prove its' universality with equal attention to tenderness and brutality. In this collection that lingers on family and death, she has tapped directly into the core of human experience. This book will make you cry, probably in public, so prepare accordingly.


Review by Kitri

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The Best of Richard Matheson By Richard Matheson, Victor LaValle (Editor), Victor LaValle (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Richard Matheson, Victor LaValle (Editor), Victor LaValle (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143130178
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Classics - October 10th, 2017

Do you like the Twilight Zone? Of course you do. But you might not know Richard Matheson. And you should, because arguably the most iconic episodes were adapted from his masterfully-written short fiction. Each story is so tightly crafted as to border on pulp, each ending twists with a stinger that demands your return. If I'm on a plane: 1) I have a Richard Matheson collection in my carry on and 2) I'm not going to look at the wing of the plane. Yeah. He wrote that. 



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You Know You Want This:
$24.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781982101633
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - January 15th, 2019

Maybe you already know her short story "Cat Person," which captured a modern feeling—one that has barely begun to be put in print—so well I felt it in my body. There's more of those sickeningly visceral moments in this collection. The stories feel like urban legends stretched into something else, something you feel in the pit of your stomach and taste at the back of your mouth. 


Review by Kitri

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Mothers: Stories By Chris Power Cover Image
$26.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780374213664
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 15th, 2019

Chris Power made his literary bones as a critic, writing the long-running series "A Brief Survey of the Short Story" for the Guardian. It's no surprise, then, that the stories in his debut collection are marked by a quiet mastery of the form, as assured as it is unassuming. They tend to center on characters who could be described as searchers: travelers and tourists driven by mysterious motives, looking to cure some elusive lack in their lives. All this enigma rewards careful reading; the more you strain to understand these variously broken people, the more apparent the quality of the prose becomes. And as if all that wasn't enough, the book gets extra credit for having one of my favorite dust jacket designs in recent memory.


Review by Theo

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Friday Black By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

The stories in Friday Black are volatile, unpredictable concoctions. While reading them, I imagined author Nana Kwame Adeji-Brenyah as a mad scientist, mixing beakers with wild abandon: some societal critique here, a little gallows humor there, a dose of dystopian sci-fi just for kicks. The resulting stories feel just as likely to combust as they do to end. Adjei-Brenyah is among the most exciting new voices in fiction I've encountered all year, the heir apparent to Vonnegut and Saunders's tradition of dark, socially incisive postmodernism.


Review by Theo

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Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$24.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780451495112
Published: Hogarth - February 21st, 2017

This book is a twisted bramble, ripe with grimy tales that really satisfy. Enriquez's voice entertains, educates, and terrifies. "I like dark themes,' she says, "...I would say it's my way of looking at things." amen, sister.



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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories By Denis Johnson Cover Image
$27.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780812988635
Published: Random House - January 16th, 2018

Denis Johnson is one of those authors I have a hard time talking about without lapsing into absurd superlatives, so I won't even try to restrain my praise for his latest (and, sadly, last) story collection. The title story alone is worth the price of admission, and ranks among the best short stories I have ever read; The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is as disarmingly funny and as sneakily sublime as anything Johnson has written. We are lucky that Denis Johnson, who sadly passed away last May, has graced us with this final masterpiece--it's as fine a swan song as any author could hope for.


Review by Theo

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Homesick for Another World: Stories By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399562907
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - December 5th, 2017

Between her two latest books — this story collection and her similarly excellent 2015 novel Eileen —Ottessa Moshfegh has become one of my favorite fiction writers working today. The stories in Homesick for Another World are dark and unredemptive; they find humor in misery and relish abjection. They are peopled with characters riddled with shame and self-loathing, leading to bizarre and sometimes cruel behavior. They are, in short, probably not for everyone. But readers with a taste for the bitter stuff will find Moshfegh’s writing delightfully distasteful and full of surprising moments and incisive commentary.


Review by Theo

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