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From Kate Walbert, the highly acclaimed National Book Award nominee, comes a dazzling, career-spanning collection of new and selected stories.
In these 12 deft, acutely funny, and often heartbreaking stories, Kate Walbert delves into the hearts and minds of women. Her characters are searchers, uneasy in one way or another. They yearn for connection. They question the definitions assigned to them as wives, mothers, and daughters; they seek their own way within isolated, and often isolating, circumstances, reveling in small, everyday epiphanies and moments of clarity.
In the riveting opening story, "M&M World", a woman is plunged into panic when she briefly loses one of her daughters at the vast and over-stimulating Times Square store. In "Slow the Heart", a single mother tries to ease tension at the dinner table with Roses and Thorns, the game she knows the Obamas played in the White House. In "Radical Feminists", a woman skating with her two children encounters the man who derailed her career years earlier. And in the poignant "A Mother Is Someone Who Tells Jokes", a mother reflects on the nursery school project that preceded her son’s autism diagnosis. This is a deeply moving, resonant collection from a writer "rightly celebrated for her ability to capture the variety and vulnerability of women’s lives with a combination of lyricism and brawn" (NPR).
"Four narrators, Cassandra Campbell, Samantha Desz, Cynthia Farrell, and Devon Sorvari, are the perfect ensemble to instill emotion in 12 stories told from women's perspectives. Characters vary in age, race, sexuality, and status but are connected by a sense of searching. Their agitation is illuminated in defining moments. Sometimes emotions are loud - such as the fear of a mother who loses her child at M&M World. Sometimes they are stated outright as when two mothers talk about their anxiety journals in short back-and-forth commentary in which social unease is masked by words slurred by wine. Other times what is left unsaid, like unrequited love, comes through in well-timed pauses. Each narrator speaks at a good pace in a distinctive tone that lets the author's imagery shine." (AudioFile)