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Sittenfeld's wryly hilarious and insightful new collection, Help Yourself, illuminates human experience and gracefully upends our assumptions about class and race, envy and disappointment, gender dynamics and celebrity.
Suburban friends fall out after a racist encounter at a birthday party is caught on video and posted on Facebook; an illustrious Manhattan film crew is victim of its own snobbery when its members underestimate a pre-school teacher from the Mid-West; and a group of young writers fight about love and narrative style as they compete for a prestigious bursary.
Connecting each of these three stories is Sittenfeld's truthful yet merciless eye, as her characters stagger from awkwardness, to humiliation and, if they're lucky, to reconciliation. Full of tenderness and compassion, this dazzling collection celebrates our humanity in all its pettiness and glory.